Printers hold onto gains
as recovery continues
The printing industry is holding onto gains made since the first of the year, and economic recovery will continue to move in fits and starts until the economy and ad spending hit full stride late this year. That’s the latest news from the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), the trade association for the commercial printing industry based in Paramus, NJ. The information was contained in NAPL’s April Printing Business Conditions Report
The steadiness was reflected in the NAPL Printing Business Index (PBI), the association’s most comprehensive measure of printing industry activity. It edged up to 53.4 in April, from 53.0 in March, and still significantly higher than January’s 39.9 reading. The PBI has risen substantially since last October when it hit a record low 33.4. For the first time since fall 2000, the index has held above the 50.0 mark for two consecutive months. A PBI reading above 50.0 signifies that more printers report business is picking up than report business slowing down. Conversely, an index reading below 50.0 indicates the opposite.
NAPL Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi commented, “The collapse of corporate profits and advertising made this recession much harder on the printing industry than on the economy at large. The Blue Chip consensus expects corporate profits to strengthen gradually over the next six months. As a result, we expect print sales to grow as much as 5 percent from July through December, and as much as 7.5 percent next year. For all of 2002, sales will grow 2.1 percent to 3.3 percent, in contrast to last year when print sales fell 3.7 percent.”