Print Market Forecast and Outlook

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  • November 9, 2016
The results of the recent presidential and congressional elections  will no doubt be digested for a long time. The effect of Donald Trump’s huge upset, as well as inheriting a republican senate and congress, is to say the least, an uncertainty. Forecasting how this and other economic factors will impact the printing industry is far from easy. However, we have enough data (courtesy of the Printing Industries of America) to draw some conclusions on the current state of the printing industry and what lies ahead.

The Good News
According to PIA’s, Special Report on Economic and Print Market Scan and Forecast, there is some good news:
  • Printing shipments tend to expand when the economy is in a “mature recovery phase,” and this has been true of the economy the last couple of years. Print has been doing very well lately. Indeed, North American print markets have enjoyed robust growth and printer’s pricing and profits have strengthened. In terms of sales, according to the US Department of Commerce Census of Manufacturing data, printing shipments were up 1.6 percent through the first four months of 2016. In comparison, all US manufacturing shipments declined over the same period by minus 2.8 percent, so print exceeded all manufacturing by more than 4 percentage points.
  • Another source, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), tracks US manufacturing activity in their monthly surveys. Their surveys show that the printing industry ranks near the top in three key metrics among the 18 manufacturing sectors tracked: Printing is ranked number 2 in shipment growth of the 12 manufacturing sectors that experienced increases.

  • The US economy is in the seventh year of recovery from the Great Recession of 20072009. Although the recovery has been sluggish with fairly tepid growth, it has been a sure and steady climb without interruption.
and what might be the best news of all:
  • the severe displacement of print by digital media is now behind us, so print is back as an industry that will grow in normal economic times.

 

The Meh News

PIA’s economic outlook estimates the chance of recession this year as high as 30 percent. As we mentioned before, it remains to be seen how a Trump presidency will affect the economy. PIA feels that the most likely scenario is a continuation of slow economic growth in the 2-percent annual range.

Post Press Specialties feels that no matter how the economy is doing, our wide range of services are invaluable assets to all commercial printers, big or small. When you need post press finishing services, we’ve got the high-capacity finishing equipment, friendly people, and management team to deliver on your promises – and ours.  Call us today at 816-257-1919.