Expectations Move Lower
NAPL State of the Industry participants are not as optimistic as they were at the start of 2013. Back then our survey group expected to increase sales 3.6% this year. Now they expect an increase of 2.7%. The share of those expecting a gain declined from 62.1% to 49.1%. Conversely, those expecting a decline more than doubled, from 11.2% to 25.0%. What’s behind the lower expectations?
For starters, the economy continues to disappoint. It ‘s healing, albeit slowly, but the business environment remains characterized by inconsistency and uncertainty. It’s important to note that companies waiting for an improved economy to boost business may end up being disappointed. Not that a more robust economy wouldn’t boost sales, but rather that it’s not going to boost sales for everyone especially on a sustained basis—a rising tide no longer lifts all boats. More and more the benefits of a vigorous economy are going to be reserved for companies that are best prepared for what the commercial printing industry is becoming. The same holds true for any benefits expected from industry consolidation. We’ll discuss consolidation in our next post. The upcoming NAPL State of the Industry Report to be unveiled in the KBA booth at PRINT 13 will have an in-depth review of market redistribution and what companies are doing to get on the right side.
Andy Paparozzi Joe Vincenzino