NAPL: Business Better Off Financially Now Compared to Last Year
"Since last summer we have been moving-albeit fitfully and painfully slowly-toward growth," said economists at the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) in the NAPL Printing Business Conditions update released to NAPL members this week. "That didn't have to happen.
That it did is evidence healing from our worst recession on record has finally begun."
Although industry sales declined another 4.2 percent during the six months ending in May, "we're clearly better off than we were a year ago, when sales were down 15.3 percent on a six-month basis, but still far off from where we want to be," they added.
According to the report, sales were up for 44 percent of the 300-plus member NAPL Printing Business Panel from January to May 2010, a vast improvement over the same period last year, when just 8.7 percent reported sales growth. Sales were still down during the January-May 2010 period for more than half (56 percent) of the Panel, but that was far better than the 91.3 percent who reported lower sales from January to May 2009.
"Of course we are benefitting from very easy year-over-year comparisons-i.e., it doesn't take much to beat 2009's grossly depressed numbers," according to the report, "but our progress is also rooted in an economy that, although still fragile, is far healthier than it was a year ago."
The July report includes a breakdown of sales distribution by percentage of increases or decreases, trends data on industry volume and payroll hours, and key macro economic indicators and statistics.
Rounding out the report are survey results on printing company leaders' major concerns heading into the second half of 2010, two important action steps companies can take to alleviate their concerns, and an in-depth interview with an NAPL State of the Industry research participant on dealing with market changes and using technology and process outsourcing to protect business from commoditization.