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RMA forecast: tread rubber shipments will increase again

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Shipments of tread rubber will grow 2.3% in 2005, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association's Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee. This will mark the third consecutive year that shipments have increased.

Shipments in 2005 will represent approximately 17 million retreaded tires in the United States.

Though overall economic growth is expected to moderate in 2005, strong demand for off-the-road tires will fuel a 2.3% increase in total tread rubber shipments for the year, up from the 1.5% growth in 2004 shipments.

The RMA says the following factors will sustain growth through 2007 at an annualized rate of 1.7%:

1. continued strength in construction.

2. increases in the number of trucks.

3. expansion in the manufacturing sector.

4. positive freight trends.

The Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee is comprised of tread rubber market analyst professionals representing the major tread rubber manufacturers in the United States. The manufacturers account for more than 90% of all U.S. tread rubber shipments.

The committee's analyses and forecasts of current and future industry activity include a review of RMA tire industry and economic data, government trade figures, and vehicle sales and production.

More information on tread rubber shipments can be found in the RMA Tire Industry Factbook, available annually. For more information or to order the fact book, please visit www.rma.org.

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