Staying Close to Home
Although digitization and the Internet have certainly changed the landscape of the commercial printing industry—in large part by redefining the nature of competition—print essentially remains a local industry. For many printers, the bulk of their clients and business stem from the activity of companies, institutions, associations, etc. in their area. Thus, while economic data on the national scene are important, we must also pay attention to what’s happening in our own backyard. There are regional differences, in some cases significant differences.
Between 2007 and 2012, the overall U.S. economy has recorded very little net change, increasing just 2.3% after adjusting for inflation. When we look at the GDP of states for the same period, NAPL estimates based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show a wide variation. North Dakota tops the list with an increase of 34.3% and Nevada is at the other end of the spectrum with a decline of 7.7%. Results for the ten biggest state economies are shown in the table below.
While the variation among these states is not as wide as that referenced above it is still significant, as several of these large state economies still remain below pre-Great Recession levels. The table shows that the top 10 states accounted for roughly half (48.3%) of U.S. commercial printing industry sales (from all sources) in 2012. However, it also highlights that there’s not a 1:1 relationship between print and the cyclical ups and downs of the economy—there are other factors impacting the industry. We will be discussing these along with regional differences in upcoming NAPL State of the Industry Series reports, which are sponsored by KBA.
Andy Paparozzi Joe Vincenzino