NEW YORK — Despite the weak economy, consumer products companies are projecting a 5.7% growth rate for the upcoming 12 months, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Consumer Products Barometer, a quarterly survey of top executives in 58 large consumer products businesses. That is up from the 5.1% projected revenue growth in last quarter’s survey and notably higher than the all-industry average projected growth rate of 4.5% this quarter. A strong majority (83%) of respondents expect positive revenue growth in the upcoming 12 months, with 14% of those companies expecting double-digit revenue growth and 69% projecting single-digit growth. However, more than half (54%) of respondents are pessimistic about the U.S. economy’s prospects during the next 12 months, with only 19% remaining optimistic and 27% uncertain. “The economic downturn in the United States has affected nearly every industry, and the consumer products sector is no different,” said John Maxwell, leader of the retail and consumer industry practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “However, consumer products companies are optimistic that their revenue will grow in the upcoming year, signaling that things might not be as bleak as they seem.” Meanwhile, when asked about whether they are making product and process changes to address consumers’ desire for green products, half of consumer products executives reported that they are coming under increased pressure to do so. Among those expecting to increase emphasis (48%) on green products during the next twelve months, 96% believe it will result in improved consumer perception of their companies, 82% believe it will increase emphasis of a product's green content in marketing campaigns, 75% believe it will result in greater innovation toward new green-oriented products, 61% believe it will increase sales, and 46% expect it will influence the reformulation of current products.
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