ISA Releases Sign Industry Quarterly Report
The second half of 2019 will be marked with uncertainty and potentially a flattening of several specific industry sectors. But bright spots include a surprising drop in steel prices—well below the 25 percent tariff premium—and lower pulp prices.
The overall global economy faces uncertainty, with struggles in China and Brexit-related concerns in Europe. Closer to home, gross domestic product topped 3 percent in the first quarter, but is expected to weaken throughout the rest of 2019 into 2020.
The sign, graphics and visual communications industry is expected to face a tightening market in 2019 and perhaps underperform in 2020, the report anticipates.
The report assesses four segments of the industry: two supplier markets (printing and electrical/digital signage) and two end markets (electric/digital signage and architectural signage). It also forecasts commodities. The Sign Industry Economic Report, prepared in June, is sponsored by the National Association of Sign Supply Distributors (NASSD).
It is compiled by IHS and Vandiver Associates and analyzes each segment of the market upstream and downstream to allow users to stay current with evolving business conditions.
- Steel prices will remain down through the third quarter of 2019, though the picture for the fourth quarter is unclear. Weakness in demand is driving the market.
- Paper prices also are trending down in the first half of 2019 after seeing rises of 20 percent in 2018. Pulp prices fell sharply.
- The buying advice for the third quarter is to delay lumber purchases for long-term contracts if possible. U.S. softwood lumber prices will increase in the third quarter due to price spikes for spruce pine and fir from Western North America.
- Digital signage is expected to continue above its historical average on supply and end-user sides while static signage—particularly architectural signage—may struggle.
- In all sectors of the industry, the 2019-2020 outlook fails to show growth and may fall below trend in 2020.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Wide-Format Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Wide-Format Impressions.