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Print Outlook Tackles Economic Realities

March 27, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC—Some 60 attendees at the Print Outlook portion of the NPES 2009 Industry Summit, held earlier this week, heard predictions on the outlook for the overall U.S. economy, the printing industry specifically, advertising media trends and even for business in general under the new presidential administration.

Economist Alan Beaulieu, of the Institute for Trend Research, foresees no economic recovery this year, but believes employment levels and credit markets will improve in 2010. He said history will call the current period of time the Great Recession, but not a depression.

NAPL Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi predicted a 3.5 to 4.5 percent decline in printing industry sales, on top of last year's 3.9 percent drop. Although he anticipates signs of modest recovery in early 2010, Paparozzi stressed that it will "not lift all boats—only those companies that structurally change their businesses."

His counterpart, Printing Industries of America Chief Economist Ronnie Davis, anticipates some recovery beginning in Q4 2009. However, overall U.S. GDP will slow to 2.2 percent over the next decade. He also pointed out that print does best in mature recoveries; it lags in a recovery, but eventually catches up.

In describing the $300 billion advertising media market (direct marketing, magazines, newspapers, television, radio, Internet, Yellow Pages and out-of-home), Marty Maloney, chairman of Broadford & Maloney, stressed how the Internet still represents a small slice of ad revenues. He said opportunities for printers exist with gift and discount cards, cents-off coupons, FSIs, direct mail, digital books, large-format and variable data digital printing, as well as  newspapers printed by commercial shops.
 

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