Slumping cardboard-box sales in the U.S. indicate a slowdown in consumer spending. U.S. paper mills are reducing production as big-box retailers purchase fewer cardboard boxes, which serves as a key indicator of consumer demand.
Mills are currently operating at around 70% capacity, a significant decrease from their typical 90-92% capacity during favorable times, reported Bloomberg. Shipments of empty boxes in March dropped by 11% compared to the previous year. The manufacturing is down due to inflation curbing consumer spending and reducing demand.