Industry Survey Notes Declining Sales and Investments


Semper International, a Boston, Massachusetts-based supplier of skilled talent in the printing, pre-media and marketing industries, released its Third Quarter Economic Insight Report, which found a stark slowdown in overall industry profits and sales forecasts.

The economy returned to the forefront of industry threats in this survey, with 32 percent of companies indicating this was their main concern. This data finds many firms beginning to drop into survival mode, with hiring forecasts down and diversification rates declining 12 percent over the course of the quarter. While firms have not yet reported these economic pressures have crossed the line into staff reduction mode, this survey finds companies continue to struggling with the same profitability pressures we have seen since the third quarter of 2015.

Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. Survey participants include a cross section of large, mid-size and small commercial printers, advertising agencies and media companies; both clients and prospects of Semper International. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and are not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation.

Additional indicators the Semper Report revealed include:

  • 70 percent of companies logged profits in this cycle, down one percentage point from the prior quarter, and significantly less than the 80 percent-plus levels reported last year at this time.
  • 66 percent of companies say they will not hire new talent this quarter.
  • While growth expectations stabilized from recent declines, just 42 percent of companies expect sales growth in the next three months.
  • Across the industry, digital print overtook traditional print as the industry¬ís primary profit center for the first time in the history of the survey.

For more information , visit