In 2018, the American economy grew for the ninth consecutive year. We can expect this growth to continue in 2019 at approximately this year’s pace. The economy’s recent acceleration pairs with GDP growing faster now than in recent years. Consumer and federal spending have increased as well, also contributing to the economic acceleration.A large contributor to this trend is business investments in innovations like new equipment and software, which is up 8.7%, more than doubling the 3.7% gain from a year ago.
Each of these factors play a role in the economic cycle, as these series of investments continue to rejuvenate the economy. Productivity gains and wage growth stimulate an increase in both consumer and business spending, which spark another round of capital investment to meet the growing demand for goods and services. The strength of the economy has given the printing industry a boost. For example, recent SGIA research estimates that commercial printing segment sales increased by 1.5% in the first half of 2018 reaching a $86.1 billion mark, which is 10.8% higher than 2011.
That all said, there are still economic threats which could influence the market to be aware of. Tariffs on newsprint and textiles may impact resource allocation, and exemptions which complicate the process to obtain these resources would likely impact production efficiencies. Additionally, we must keep watch of inflation, as prices increase for industrial commodities, transportation and storage services.
And while all of these economic changes are occurring, we must also be aware of the massive changes that are transforming the printing industry as a whole. New innovations like 3D printing, artificial intelligence and other exciting innovations are influencing the ways we operate. We must be sure to keep a watchful eye on these changes to respond to changes in a way that best sets up our industry for economic success.
Read the full article in the Fall 2018 issue of the SGIA Garment Journal.