Print Market Analysis — Pockets of Potential

The worst may be over. According to data in “Print Buying 2003: Demographic Analysis of Print End-User Markets,” published annually by C. Barnes & Co., U.S. demand for print, which minimally grew from 2001 to 2002 (just over 1 percent), grew to $92.5 billion in 2003 (nearly 4 percent). But the bigger story for printers is in the regional and industry segment demand changes.

“Print Buying 2003” ranks the U.S. print demand by state and metropolitan area, giving printers the detailed regional information they need to project their future success. By state, the largest states take the top three spots. California ranks number one for print buying demand for 2002 with $13.7 billion, Texas is a distant second with $6.1 billion and New York is right behind with $5.9 billion.

However, there is a big surprise on the metro area level. The biggest cities are not the top print buying areas. Boston is the top print buying city for 2002 with $3.8 billion in demand (see list below). Washington, DC, and Chicago are ranked second and third ($3.5 billion each), respectively, and New York City and Los Angeles—the largest U.S. cities—are fourth and fifth ($3.3 billion and $3.0 billion.)

Of the 23 largest industries profiled in “Print Buying 2003,” computer and electronic product manufacturers are far and away the top print buying industry. They bought nearly $13 billion in print in 2002. Publishers, book and magazine printers’ main clients, ranked second with $9.4 billion, followed by the construction industry with $8.6 billion. Food manufacturers bought $7.3 billion in 2002 (ranked fourth) and the broadcasting/telecommunications industries purchased $6.4 billion (fifth).

“Print Buying 2003” research, based on secondary data from trade associations’ financial reports, the U.S. Census and extensive quantitative modeling, arrays data by U.S. state, employee size of establishment and industry (as described by NAICS code system). The 23 industries described in the report account for 67 percent of total U.S. GDP ($6.6 trillion of $10.2 trillion). Print buying for these industries is estimated in the report to be $89.4 billion in 2002 (or 87 percent of the $102.4 billion printing industry as defined by NAICS code 323).

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