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Frank Looks at "Printing Outlook 2019"

Published on April 12, 2019

Frank talks about the new WhatTheyThink “Printing Outlook 2019” report. There are no leading indicators for the printing industry, government data need a lot of interpretation, and yet printers need insight in order to make intelligent business decisions. This report will give printers meaningful information on where the industry is—and where it may be going.


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By Vincent Mallardi on Apr 12, 2019

Nice commentary as always,Frank. I have a different take not necessarily at odds with yours. Yes, there may be no leading indicator for print because print itself is a leading indicator. Before anything of value is added at the chain of GDP, paper or board must be manufactured, sequentially followed by packaging and collateral design, reproduction and assembly. Every industry buys print-related products from the lowest demand sector(sand and gravel) to the highest (packaged foods). And within each sector there is a range of marginal utility based on the size of each participant. Only at the end of the chain is the final GDP aggregate summation.

With respect to government data, it has never been useful because SIC (now NAICS) numbers are obsolete. Many long time companies are still using a letterpress designation; and newer entrants are filing as so-called print service providers which is, though erroneous, a post-manufacturing numerical designation. Add reseller distributors, brokers, agencies, strategic outsourcers, 3P logistics outfits and a myriad of other handlers of our medium and we find something remarkable: a relatively stable contributor to GDP in constant-dollar terms.


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