The economic signals for the U.S. economy are positive. Leading indicators confirm our outlook for growth in the U.S. economy through 2013. We expect the rate of growth will slow as we progress through late 2013 and into 2014 leading to a mild recession by late 2014.
Low prices are helping the consumer, and the business mandate portion of Obamacare has been delayed for a year, giving businesses more time to prepare. The Federal Reserve intends to continue quantitative easing through the end of the year, and low interest rates at least into next year. Despite some recent volatility, the stock market continues to grow. Look for a 3% gain in U.S. industrial production this year.
We anticipate that the current and future stimulative monetary policy will be conducive to a consumer-led business cycle rising trend beginning in late 2014/early 2015 and extending through 2016.
As a business owner or CEO, how does the general economy impact the potential for your business? More importantly, when you look at your company’s sales data, how do you know if you’re keeping pace, leading, or lagging?
To assess your performance in the marketplace, you need access to some crucial information: what the market size for different products is, who is buying what, and when they will be making those purchases. To help explore these questions, NPES member companies have the NPES Market Data Program.
The NPES Market Data Program has provided participants with information on the size of the printing equipment and graphic arts supplies marketplace for over 50 years. The program is free, legally monitored, and highly confidential, providing targeted data on the products that members produce and sell.
The “traditional” printing equipment and supplies program provides dollar and unit shipments for 80 key product categories. Participating member companies provide monthly shipment information to an independent third party vendor and, in return, receive quarterly market data reports, which allow them to gauge their performance, evaluate new market trends, and forecast future sales. NPES conducts this data collection through an independent third party to ensure confidentiality. The NPES Market Data Program is driven by the needs of the participants, and its flexibility allows participants to recommend additional categories as new markets emerge, assuring that NPES remains the authoritative source for market data.
The Production Digital Color Press program collects quarterly unit data and dollar estimates by five duty cycle classes for North America, giving members timely data on the size of this market, shifts between classes of products, and information on market stability.
NPES also works with the Institute for Trend Research (ITR), led by Alan Beaulieu, to provide participating member companies with expert economic analysis and industry forecast reports. He was one of the few experts to correctly predict the timing and severity of the downturn, and NPES members immediately saw the value in the information he could provide and requested that NPES work with him to provide forecasts for our industry.
The quarterly U.S. Private Label Advisor provided by ITR offers U.S. market specific updates and forecasts on six key product segments: printing equipment, pressroom equipment, sheetfed offset presses, bindery equipment, graphic arts supplies, and direct to metal plates. They also provide snapshots of U.S. macroeconomic indicators that members can use to predict their own future activity. These quarterly reports, with an annual value of nearly $20,000, are provided at no cost to those NPES member companies that participate in the NPES Market Data Program. Member companies that do not participate in the program receive a limited report with basic information on printing equipment and supplies.
To provide further market data, NPES produces the Marketing Information publication. This is a quarterly quick-reference guide compiled from various government and industry sources, including primary data from the NPES Market Data Program to provide a complete statistical picture of the industry.