Industry Sales Growth Slowing in 2012, According to ‘Print Market Update’

PITTSBURGH—Oct. 18, 2012—According to Printing Industries of America’s 208 “Print Market Update” survey panelists, printing industry sales have increased by 2.3 percent year-to-date in 2012. By comparison, the U.S. Census Bureau reports year-to-date 2012 shipments on a nominal unadjusted basis declined 2.2 percent. While still a decline, that is an improvement from the first quarter’s 3.9 percent decline.


Since the first quarter of 2011, both our survey panel and the U.S. Census Bureau reported print sales weakening.

For the past few quarters, the majority of industry growth was generated from larger firms. When calculating the percent change in industry sales, Printing Industries of America panel members with more than 100 employees are give a higher weight because these firms generate more than 60 percent of industry sales.

Since the fourth quarter of 2011, there has been a noticeable a trend—larger firms reporting sales growth declining each quarter, from a high of 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to a low of 2.1 percent in the current quarter. This slowdown in sales growth rate for larger firms is the main reason why the panel’s year-to-date sales increase has declined from 2.6 percent last quarter to 2.3 percent this quarter.

To learn more about industry conditions for the first half of 2012 read the “Second Quarter Print Market Update” (download PDF). If you are interested in being included in the Print Market Update survey panel, please contact Ed Gleeson at

About Printing Industries of America

Printing Industries of America is the world’s largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with approximately one million employees. It serves the interests of thousands of member companies. Together with its nationwide affiliate network, Printing Industries delivers products and services that enhance the growth, efficiency, and profitability of its members and the graphic communications industry through advocacy, education, research, and technical information.