Print Business Indicators Research Shows Continued Recovery and Resiliency Among the Printing Industry
To help printing companies navigate through the current crisis to the recovery on the other side, NAPCO Research and PRINTING United Alliance launched COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research. This is the fourth in a series of reports that examines the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the printing industry, how printers are responding to the crisis, and how they can create a path forward. This survey tracks key indicators across a cross section of printing companies, including commercial printers, graphic and sign producers, apparel decorators, functional printers, and package printers/converters. Download the in-depth executive summary to understand the current status of the printing industry.
Here are the key findings from commercial printers and all printers participating in the fourth survey.
Comparison of First Three Quarter Sales Numbers Highlight the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the most recent COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research, commercial printers provided us with their sales data for the first three quarters of 2019 and 2020 in order for us to understand the effects of the year’s economic hardships on the industry. Throughout this time period, only 18.4% of companies saw their sales increase while a vast majority, 80.1%, said that sales have fallen. The remaining 1.5% did not have any change from year-to-year. Those who saw their sales increase reported an average change of 25.9% while those who saw decreases reported an average change of -25.1%. It is clear to see that the industry is divided into the haves and have-nots. Most saw demand decline due to issues related to the pandemic but there were a few, most fall into the 18.4% below, who saw demand increases due to the pandemic. This handful of firms likely pivoted to PPE production or serve markets that saw demand increases due to the pandemic. Either way, the environment proved to be lucrative for them while most other printers struggled.
Business Activity is Increasing According to Index of Current Indicators
The index of current indicators encompasses trends in sales, production, employment, prices, and pre-tax profitability in order to understand whether business activity is increasing or decreasing. A reading over 50.0 indicates that more of the companies surveyed report activity is increasing than report activity is decreasing, while a reading below 50.0 signals the opposite. For the first time since this research began in March, the index has crossed the line and now sits at 52.2. The index has been driven up mainly by increases in the number of companies reporting sales are trending up and the number reporting production is trending up, while employment, prices and pre-tax profitability have remained mostly stagnant. Although it has slightly dropped this time around, the index of leading indicators remains over 50.0 as well at 53.1. This reading indicates that business activity should continue to rise as we start off the new year. The index of leading indicators measures trends in confidence, quote activity, work-on-hand, and payroll production hours.
Index of Current Business Indicators
Want More Printing Industry Trends and Projections?
The full version of the report digs deeper into the data mentioned above plus much more!
The report includes sections on:
- Previous 30 days sales numbers
- 2019 vs. 2020 first three quarter sales for the industry and each segment
- Index data including trends for sales, production, employment, prices, profitability, quote activity, work-on-hand, payroll production hours, and confidence.
- Top concerns for printers heading into the new year.
- How many printers plan on making capital investments in 2021
- Economic and industry projections
- Election concerns and potential policy changes that can take place under the new administration.
- COVID-related sales statistics
- How long these COVID-related sales will last
- Printers’ outlook on the industry heading into 2021
Participate in the COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research
In today’s unprecedented business environment, making decisions based on facts has never been more important. In the weeks and months ahead, reliable industry business indicators will be essential for monitoring what’s happening in all printing industry segments. The COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research is an essential resource for monitoring industry conditions and the NAPCO and PRINTING United Alliance research teams invite you to join our business panel and contribute to the research on an ongoing basis. Companies that join the panel will receive an exclusive version of the report that includes additional data and analysis. To join the COVID-19 research panel, please click here.
ABOUT NAPCO RESEARCH
The combined NAPCO and PRINTING United Alliance research teams develop research and economic models that solve customer business problems. Market research is valuable for making strategic business decisions, solving challenges, and pursuing opportunities and the NAPCO Media research teams survey, analyze, and monitor critical trends related to marketing, printing, packaging, non-profit organizations, promotional products, and retailing. To learn more about how the team can leverage its research and industry subject matter experts to support your organizations needs contact NAPCO’s Vice President of Research, Nathan Safran, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Wilaj reports on economic and industry trends which aim to help printers navigate an ever-changing business environment
He joins the Printing United Alliance research team after beginning his career at Printing Industries of America where he analyzed, reported and spoke on key trends in commercial print and aided in the revitalization of the historic Performance Ratios program.