Print Business Indicators Research Shows Deflated 2020 Sales but Indexes Signal Recovery Is in Progress
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.
This article focuses on key findings from graphic and sign producers as well as all printers participating in the fourth survey.
Graphic and Sign Producers’ First Three-Quarter Sales Numbers Affected By COVID-Related Issues
Graphic and sign producers were asked to disclose their sales for the first three quarters of both 2019 and 2020 so that we can get a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the industry and the results were quite telling. Only 12.8% of respondents saw their sales increase when compared to 2019, and those who did, saw them increase by an average of 24.8%. On the other side of the coin, 76.9% of graphic and sign producers saw their sales decline by an average of 26.1%. The other 10.3% managed to maintain steady sales levels over these two time periods. Printers who saw increases likely pivoted to producing COVID-related products or serve markets that saw demand increases because of the pandemic. COVID-related signage and floor graphics saw boosts in demand which could account for a portion of these sales for the firms that managed to boost their revenue.
Previous 30 Day Sales Numbers Avoid Negative Territory For the First Time Since This Research Began
Participants in our research also report how their sales over the last 30 days compare with their sales over the previous 30 days, and although we are not quite in positive territory yet, the numbers are promising and show that we are certainly headed in the right direction. 40.4% of companies indicated that their sales numbers increased over the last 30 days compared to the 34.9% who saw decreases. On average, sales changed by 0.0% which can be taken optimistically as the table below shows that this number was negative in every other iteration of this report. The index of both current and leading indicators read above 50.0 at 52.2 and 53.1, respectfully. These numbers indicate business activity is rising and should continue to rise as we begin the new year.
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 of current and leading business indicators
- 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
PRINTING United Alliance members can download a full version of the report here.
Participate in the COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Research
In today’s unprecedent 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.
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.