North American suppliers of plastics machinery are continuing to see strong demand, and will likely benefit from the predicted growth in the U.S. economy next year.

That’s according to statistics compiled and reported by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES).

Figures show that shipments of primary plastics processing equipment (injection molding, single-screw extrusion, twin-screw extrusion and blow molding equipment) for reporting companies totaled $303.5 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Shipments rose by 5.5 percent from $287.7 million in the prior quarter, and by 6.7 percent when compared with the same quarter a year ago. For the year to date, the value of primary plastics equipment shipments is up 3.9 percent over last year.

“The CES shipments data have steadily posted year-over-year gains in every quarter since 2010. This is a better performance than many other sectors of the U.S. and global economy,” said economic analyst Bill Wood, who reports on the plastics machinery markets for the CES.

“U.S. GDP will continue to grow at an annualized pace of at least 2 percent for the remainder of 2015, and the outlook is for accelerating growth in 2016. This bodes well for the plastics machinery markets because it will continue to generate rising aggregate demand,” Wood added.

The plastics industry has shown strong growth throughout the recovery, and this is set to continue through the foreseeable future.

“Consumer confidence is rising, residential construction activity is accelerating, and stronger economic growth is expected for the rest of the year,” Wood said.

“Overall, we are reaping the benefits of low interest rates, low energy prices, and rising household incomes resulting from stronger employment levels. This is more than enough to offset the drag caused by weakness in the oil patch, a stronger dollar, and slower export demand,” the analyst concluded.