Back in February of this year, NAPL released its State of the Industry Report for 2012. According to NAPL’s Andrew Paparozzi, vice president and chief economist, and Joseph Vincenzino, NAPL’s senior economist, the industry was expected to begin growing again this year; the first increase we would have seen since 2007.
So, how did we do?
Every October, I have the opportunity to ask that question to the industry to see how we’ve done over the last year and then take a look at where we’re going. But before you turn over to the State of the Industry Report (starting on page 14) let’s examine a few recent industry reports, which I think are very telling as to how the printing industry as a whole—and the sign and graphics segment—is faring in this challenging business environment.
Paparozzi and Vincenzino remind us that it’s important to keep things in perspective while considering forecasts for the future. “Recent results for the NAPL Printing Business Panel show how far we’ve come from the depths of the Great Recession and how far we have to go to match the previous peak. We expect our industry sales (from all sources, not just print) to grow one to three percent in 2012, maybe a little more if prices firm and the economy surprises to the upside.”
In September, SGIA released its 2012 Market Trends and Product Specialties Benchmarking Report for the graphics and sign and garment decoration communities. It is designed to provide, according to Dan Marx, SGIA’s vice president of markets and technologies, “a unique industry view of how companies are growing their businesses, how they purchase equipment, and how they view the health of their business now and in the future.”
According to the report, the specialty imaging market is optimistic about the future. Graphics and sign companies, on average, reported anticipated growth rates of 12.6 percent for 2012, while garment decoration companies fared even better, with expected growth of 17.3 percent.
Additionally, in August, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America reported that out-of-home (OOH) advertising revenue rose 4.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, accounting for more than $2 billion. Revenue for the first half of 2012 has reached nearly $3.5 billion. The increase in revenue highlights steady positive year-over-year revenue growth since the second quarter of 2010.
“The out of home advertising industry remains on a growth trajectory surpassing most other media,” says OAAA president & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “The advertising community has embraced OOH as a proven component of effective ad campaigns.”
So what do shops have to do now to ensure they are succeeding as the economy and the market continues to grow? Paparozzi and Vincenzino offer this advice: “The new norm is this: In our increasingly competitive, complex business we either prepare for recovery or get left behind.”
So, how did the sign and graphics industry fare in 2012? What markets show the biggest opportunities for growth as we move into 2013? Be sure to read the 2012 State of the Industry Report starting on page 14.