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According to the Flexible Packaging Association's 2008 State of the Industry Report, flexible packaging remains the second largest packaging segment in the U.S.—representing approximately 18% of the total U.S. packaging industry, which has estimated annual sales of $135 billion. The global packaging industry has an estimated $490 billion in annual sales, with Western Europe and North America accounting for 28% and 27%, respectively, of the global packaging industry.

The associations survey of industry experts revealed that more than 85% of them ranked the cost and availability of raw materials as the "most important" issue for 2008. The top five most important issues also included labor, competition, imports and the economy/interest rates.

The report is available from the association's site.

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