2008: It's Finally Over

By Andrew Paparozzi
In December 31, 2008

That’s probably the sentiment for the vast majority of us, as we say goodbye to 2008 and ring in the New Year. But is it over? Conditions are not going change just because we turn a page on the calendar. Economic and financial conditions remain troublesome, to say the least, and will for some time.

Forecasts for the economy in 2009 are being pared on a regular basis. The latest consensus from Blue Chip
Economic Indicators (December 10, 2008) has inflation-adjusted GDP declining 1.1% in 2009—the worst performance since a 1.9% drop 1982. Upcoming data will be just as discouraging as recent data, if not more so. The consensus forecast is likely to be revised lower. Climbing unemployment, mounting business
failures, a sick housing market, and continuing widespread uncertainty in the financial system, will be shaping our views for a while. As we start 2009, it
will remain quite difficult to shine any positive light on these and other data. It will be just as difficult to paint commercial printing industry prospects for 2009 as anything but extremely challenging. Sales for the industry are expected to record another steep decline on top of a more than 2.0% falloff this year.

But the New Year represents renewal and can bring some hope. The vacuum that currently exists in Washington will be filled after the Presidential inauguration later in January. Whether you look forward to an Obama administration or not, in the short term this may be enough to restore some badly needed confidence. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what actually transpires in terms of legislation and initiatives. Nonetheless, at some point the economy will begin to recover and conditions for the commercial printing industry begin to improve. While we may not return to robust growth right away, be on the look out for the early signs of recovery. Initially, these will be in the form of stabilization rather than expansion. But given current conditions and sentiment, stabilization will be more than welcome and can make 2009 end on a happier note than it began. Happy New
Year
.

Andrew Paparozzi                        Joseph
Vincenzino
                        Kong
Wang

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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