In this week’s Thomas Index I’m going to take a look at what we call the “Thomas Four by Four.” These are four product or service categories that have seen an upward trend in sourcing activity at Thomasnet.com, for at least four weeks running.
First up is the category of electrical supplies, which has actually been trending upward for the past five weeks. In fact, this past week alone we saw the highest ever one-week-high in sourcing activity for electrical supplies at Thomasnet.com.
Sourcing activity for glass jars has also been on a steady rise. This category is an interesting one on which to keep an eye, as manufacturers are pressed into choosing between satisfying eco-conscious consumers who prefer glass packaging, versus the cost benefits of plastic packaging.
Speaking of plastic, next up in the four by four is the category of plastic compounding services. This service concerns the process of melting and blending plastics with things such as glass fiber and UV stabilizers. This upward trend comes as no surprise, given that the global plastics market is booming. In fact, according to a study by Grand View Research, global demand for plastics is expected to reach 334 million tons by 2020 – that’s over 100 million tons more than global demand as recently as 2013.
Rounding out the Thomas four by four this week is the category of compression springs. A broad range of industries is driving this trend, as compression springs are used in everything from retractable pens and firearms, to automobiles and large industrial machinery.
So that’s what we’re seeing this week.
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