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German packaging industry says there is cause for cautious confidence for 2015

This year, the German IK Association for Plastics Packaging forecast for the economic development in the first quarter of 2015 is considerably lower key than that of early 2014. Nonetheless, says the IK, "a positive expectation for 2015 prevails in the German plastic packaging industry, even though in many European countries the economic crisis is far from over." About 31 percent of the surveyed companies reported that they were cautiously looking forward to an increase in turnover, compared to only 7 percent in the last quarter of 2014.

The association said that the continued low oil price might become an additional driver for economic development for the plastic packing industry as well, although this had not yet been the case during the latter half of 2014, when the oil price also fell strongly. The markets show clearly that oil and plastic prices do not develop in parallel. This is expected to continue in 2015.

IK also expressed concern about the continued reluctance of the industry to invest. The investment rate in Germany is now one of the lowest of all industrial countries, and this may turn into a considerable locational disadvantage more quickly than expected.

According to the association, the current economic policy conditions in Germany are the main reason for the poor investment climate. The government has got its priorities wrong, especially when it comes to the energy and labor market policies, where issues such the high price of energy and the early retirement options available despite what the IK refers to as a "dramatic demographic development," are a huge source of insecurity. The government therefore urgently needs to reconsider a number of the decisions taken in this area.

The German Federal government needs to make its policy more investment friendly, as investments, says the IK,  "are the basis for further economic growth and decisive for maintaining competiveness of the German industry."

The German IK Association of Plastic Packaging has over 300 members, and is the largest plastics packaging trade association in Europe.

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