Down, But Not Out
A housing mortgage meltdown, shrinking nest eggs, collapsing financial institutions and a disappearing job market have brought the nation to its knees. Since American consumers have no choice but to spend less, businesses’ profit margins are suffering.
The nation’s current state of financial turmoil has trickled down to every sector, including the printing industry. Sales and profit margins are deteriorating, forcing companies to shrink salaries and workforces and come up with creative ways to maintain and boost their customer bases. It ain’t pretty. And the picture isn’t expected to brighten any time soon.
Joe Vincenzino, senior economist at the National Association for Printing Leadership’s (NAPL) Printing Economic Research Center, said businesses shouldn’t expect to see any meaningful improvement until late this year.
“This recession is having an impact like all deep recessions,” Vincenzino said.
Recovery won’t feel like recovery until 2010, according to the January-released Printing Business Conditions, which is part of the NAPL’s State of the Industry Series.
“The end of a recession simply means the economy has stopped contracting, not that all’s well,” the report showed. “Recoveries can be robust, feeble or anything in between. Given the depth of the economy’s problems, expect this recovery to be painfully slow at first despite Washington’s best efforts.”
Vincenzino added that the current forecast for 2009 for commercial printing sales is expected to decline between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent—similar to last year’s declines.
Companies specializing in everything from forms to labels to commercial printing agree that business was pretty smooth until the fourth quarter of last year. At that point, business started to take a nosedive.
To stay afloat, many companies have had to re-evaluate the way they spend, watch every penny, cut back on overtime and layoff employees.