Over the past five years, consumers of have increased their consumption of plastic. This trend has caused products in the global plastic packaging manufacturing market to increasingly substitute materials such as wood, paper, metals and glass in many applications. Plastic is often more price-competitive, while also offering better performance characteristics. As a recyclable material, plastic also provides environmental benefits, such as waste reduction and energy savings. This trend has boded well for global plastic product manufacturers, with revenue expected to grow 2.1% in 2013 to $795.9 billion, marking an annualized decline of 0.01% over the past five years. The primary reason for the marginal decline was a steep revenue drop in 2009 during the global economic crisis.
The next five years are also expected to be prosperous for the industry, due to continuing improvements in demand for plastic. However, global economic uncertainties, including the European debt crisis and concerns about a slowdown in rapidly developing Asian economies, will present challenges over the next five years. Despite these challenges, industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 3.3% from 2013 to 2018 to $934.7 billion.
Global demand for construction remains a key revenue driver for the industry. Over the past five years, despite the slowdown in US construction activity, this sector exhibited massive growth due to the speedy industrialization of economies such as India and China. The construction industry's outlook for the next five years is unlikely to be as spirited, but moderate growth in construction is expected to continue to boost industry revenue.
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