Experts agree that growth prospects are good for the printing industry

What are your prospects for growth if entering the printing industry? Pretty good, according to insights from several leading experts.

Dr. Ronnie H. Davis, senior vice president and chief economist for the Printing Industries of America (PIA) Center for Print Economics and Management projected a future growth rate of 3.0 percent. “Generally, the printing industry remains healthy and is on track to meet our expectations,” said Davis. “I believe the expected solid growth in the economy will help print this year.”

The Idealliance Strategic Research Institute predicts momentum in the print industry gained last year will continue this year. They estimated that total industry sales (all sources) increased 1.9 percent during the second half of 2017. This was well above the first-half gain of 1.2 percent. For all of 2017, sales increased 1.5 percent.

Like the PIA’s Davis, Andrew D. Paparozzi, chief economist for Idealliance foresees good growth this year. “We expect sales to grow 2.0 percent to 3.0 percent-plus in 2018, with the likelihood of a finish near — or above — the top of that range increasing,” said Paparozzi. “We also expect growth to continue in the 2.0 percent to 3.0 percent-plus range through 2019 and 2020.”

What’s driving growth among printers? Michael Makin, president and CEO, PIA, identified the hottest markets as signage, packaging, labels and wrappers and point-of-purchase materials, He also cited marketing and promotional materials such as brochures and direct mail.

Growth predictions for printing businesses compare favorably to opportunities in other industries. Consider fast-food restaurants, for example. The average revenue for QSR (quick serve restaurant) brands is only expected to increase about 2.0 percent annually through 2020, according to Shopkick.