More than 450 printing companies from across the United States and Canada participated in the second NAPCO Research/PRINTING United Alliance COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Survey. Topics included percent change in sales over the last 30 days (early May through early June), current trends in sales, production, quote activity, and confidence, how participants are staying in touch with clients, and their experiences with federal loan programs. Comparisons with results of our initial survey, which covered mid-March through mid-April, show the printing industry has taken a first step toward recovery.
• Sales continue to decline and are far below year-ago levels, but the rate of decline has moderated among all companies surveyed and in all five printing segments studied.
• More companies report sales, production, quote activity, and work-on-hand are trending higher compared to the deepest days of the COVID-19 crisis.
• A fragile optimism has developed: 48.0% of companies surveyed expect business to improve during the month ahead, up from 16.2% in mid-April. There is concern, however, that the upturn will not be sustained through year end.
• More companies are holding employment steady (59.6%, up from 40.7%) and fewer are reducing employment (33.7%, down from 57.7%) compared to early spring. Federal loans are the primary
reason: 71.5% have received assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program and 30.7% through another federal program.
• Those who applied for PPP loans indicated that their employment was remaining consistent at a much higher rate than those who did not apply (63.1% compared to 48.6%).
• States that began their opening process earlier indicated that their sales, production, profitability, work on hand, quote activity, and production payroll were trending at a higher rate than those that lagged in the process. Early states’ index of current and leading indicators were 36.7 and 38.7 respectively while lagging states were 34.0 and 31.9.
• Eighty percent (80.0%) of firms were maintaining lines of communication with their clients regardless of their operating situation. Most elected to continue their traditional methods of outreach (79.0% used email), while some used this as a time to try new techniques such as web based virtual teleconferencing.
Tim Freeman, President
Printing Industries Alliance
office: (716) 691-3211
cell: (716) 983-3826