WhatTheyThink special report provides an overview of printing industry business conditions

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WhatTheyThink, the leading news and information source for the graphic communications industry, announces the immediate availability of its new October 2010 Business Conditions Report: The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current Economic State of the Industry. This 65-page report provides the results of the Economics and Research Center’s September 2010 survey of print business owners, and compares these results to past quarterly surveys to provide an accurate gauge of how print businesses professionals perceive the economic landscape, how those perceptions are changing, and what actions they are likely to take in response to challenging economic times. In addition to our own survey results, we provide the most current data available on printing industry shipments and profits, employment, and other economic indicators.

To put the printing industry data in context, the report also provides a wealth of other economic data, such as GDP, unemployment, inflation, consumer confidence, and more, as well as our own commentary on what trends in these data tell us about prevailing economic conditions—and the market for print. The report also includes the ERC’s own hand-picked set of economic indicators that provide a “recovery roadmap” to let us know when the economy is on the upswing. The report suggests what industry businesspeople can look forward to for the remainder of 2010 and into 2011.

The October2010 Quarterly Business Conditions Report also looks at other trends affecting the industry, provides a quick rundown of some of the newest media and technologies, collates third-party data on the growth of such things as online and mobile advertising, and offers a feature called “Dark Clouds and Silver Linings,” a list of both immediate threats to the industry as well as opportunities for industry businesspeople.

Some of the topics covered in this report include:

  • How commercial printers’ business conditions for the first half of 2010 have compared to those of 2009.
  • How commercial printers expect business for the rest of 2010 to compare to business in 2009.
  • Do printing companies’ plan to invest in new equipment, hardware, and software in 2010?2011?
  • What are the top planned investment categories?
  • How “committed” are printing companies to those investment plans?
  • Do printing companies plan to hire any new employees?
  • What is the general outlook for the economy—and for the printing industry—for the rest of 2010?

According to the report:

  • Almost one-half (47%) of respondents to the ERC’s September 2010 survey said that they plan to make some sort of capital investment in the rest of 2010 or in 2011.
  • 37% of those respondents have a high level of commitment to those purchases.
  • Binding/Finishing, Web-to-print capabilities, and VDP software are the top investment categories.
  • Printing shipments for the middle of 2010 have been better than expected, suggesting that 2010 will be an improvement over 2009.

The Report also provides WhatTheyThink’s outlook, conclusions, and recommendations.

“Graph Expo gave us a sense that there is a renewed vigour to the industry, and things do seem to be improving bit by little bit. But that should not lead industry companies to start singing ‘Happy Days Are Here Again.’ Significant challenges remain, and new and emerging media trends, as well as changing demographics, mean that we will need to stay on our guard and keep innovating our businesses.”