Declines in Printing Industry Sales Continue to Moderate

By Andrew Paparozzi
In March 26, 2010

Commercial printing industry sales (all sources, not just print) were down 10.4% from year-earlier levels during the three months ending in January. Since peaking in late 2007, sales are down 21.8%. That’s far from where we want to be. But it is better than where last June, when our sales were down by records of 18.4% from a year-earlier and 22.7% from peak.

Nearly twice as many NAPL Printing Business Panel members report sales fell in January—63.5%—as report sales rose—35.6%. But at the start of 2009 reports of declining sales exceeded reports of rising sales by more than four to one: 81.3% to 18.7%

And although deep declines are still very common—sales were down at least 10.0% in January for 41.5% of our Panel and at least 20.0% for 23.9%—they are not nearly as common as they were a year ago, when sales were down at least 10.0% for nearly two-thirds and at least20.0% for nearly half.

The two critical messages in these data: The bottom established late last spring has held and we are moving slowly off that bottom. For anyone not seeing their own key business metrics stabilize—even at very low levels—it’s time to ask why. (See the NAPL State of the Industry: Strategic Perspective 2010 to be published early next month for details.)

Sales Jan10

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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