Is Recovery in Sight?

During a group conversation today, an optimistic salesperson said, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel like things are starting to turn around.†Another party said she didn’t really get that feeling, but was glad that someone could say they did. Still another member of the group offered that he’d heard a couple of printers saying that they felt like the economy was starting to show signs of recovery. Last week, NAPL sent out a press release titled “Despite Signs of Recession Bottoming Out, Industry Sales Continue to Nosedive.†It delivered the glum news of the first quarter had shown the worst quarterly sales declines since the association began tracking these figures more than 20 years ago. On the other hand, it went on to report that about one fifth of the companies surveyed were reporting fairly significant increases in April’s sales over March. “More than twice as many NAPL Printing Business Panel members reported seeing some encouraging signs—no matter how minor—now than they did in March and reports of such positive signs have increased significantly in every geographic region,†the report states. Considering that NAPL’s study group consists primarily of large commercial printers, that news translates particularly well for QP’s readers. Being smaller and lighter on their feet than the big guys, quick and small commercial printers are generally able to adjust to changes and recover more easily from these downturns. Of course, there are always mitigating circumstances for individual companies, but looking at the industry as a whole, this first robin of spring is a welcome sight. Maybe that salesperson was onto something. Let’s hope she’s right!