Key Printing Industry Business Indicators Moving Off Bottom

By Andrew Paparozzi
In April 15, 2010

Over 35.0% of the NAPL Printing Business Panel report sales rose in January, still well below the 63.5% who report sales fell but up significantly from 18.7% one year earlier. Although steep declines are still quite common—sales were down at least 10% in January for 41.8% of our Panel and at least 20.0% for 24.5%—they are not nearly as common as they were at the start of 2009, when nearly two-thirds reported declines of at least 10.0% and nearly half reported declines of at least 20.0%. 


• Confidence. More of the companies we survey expect business to improve during the six months ahead—29.7%, up from 9.8% last 

May—while fewer expect business to decline—17.2%, down from 63.4% last spring.

• Factory Hours. Less than 10.0% report factory hours are rising. But significantly fewer report hours are falling and
significantly more report hours are steady.

• Profitability. Reports of declining profitability still exceed reports of rising profitability by better than two-to-one (22.0% to 47.8%). But last March the difference was better than 10-to-one, with profitability declining for 73.7% of our survey group and rising for just 6.9%.

The message in these data: The bottom our industry established last summer has held and we are moving, albeit painfully slowly, off that bottom. (See the NAPL State of the Industry: Strategic Perspective 2010, for more details on print’s performance and prospects.) 


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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