Market Watch

GAMIS Examines Package Printing


GAMIS Examines Package Printing

The Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS) of Printing Industries of America (PIA), Inc. recently published the new industry awareness study, “Package Printing 2001-2005.” The study focused on corrugated, flexible packaging, folding cartons and labels.

According to State Street Consultants, Boston, MA, which conducted the research for GAMIS, packaging will grow in line with its long-term historical growth rate, but perhaps a bit slower than the peak growth of the second half of the 1990s. Labels and flexible packaging will be the fastest growing packaging segments. The value of printing in packaging for the four studied segments is $21.2 billion. State Street reports that between 2000 and 2005 the four packaging segments studied will experience compound annual growth rates (CAGR) as follows: corrugated 3.5 percent, flexible packaging 4.5 percent, folding carton 2.5 percent and labels 4.5 percent.

Flexography is the dominant process for all of package printing, holding between a 60-70 percent share, equivalent to $15 billion in value. Offset printing, however, is and will remain the dominant process for folding cartons.

The study found that the move to digital workflow and computer-to-plate, or CTP, are the biggest changes and challenges on the horizon for packaging segments. State Street also found that there is an increasing use of complex process color, especially in flexible packaging and folding cartons.

For more information on the study, or to become a GAMIS member, contact Jackie Bland, GAMIS executive director by telephoning (703) 519-8179. Details can also be found on the web site at

Print Outlook Speakers Forecast Recovery, but Print May Lag

The national economy should begin a recovery in the first half of 2002, setting the stage for more robust growth late in the year and in 2003, but print markets may lag behind the overall economy in their return to good times. Those were the forecasts of several speakers at the 21st Print Outlook conference presented in Washington, D.C. by NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies.

The one-day conference, “Market, Economic and Political Instability…Rebuilding Confidence in 2002,” featured industry economists, experts on emerging digital technologies and industry trends, corporate managers, and a briefing by representatives of the Bush administration.

Among highlights of the conference:

NPES consulting economist Dr. Michael K. Evans predicted that even though the national economy may be in recovery by mid-2002, “corporate profits will remain sluggish, and it follows that things that are important to the printing industry, like advertising, will also remain sluggish.” He predicted that unemployment will reach 7 percent by the end of 2002, and that an overvalued U.S. dollar will also slow recovery.

Looking at the international picture, Evans saw a global slump with few, if any, bright spots. “Not many countries in the world will keep their heads above water,” he said.

“You’re in for a rough year,” he told the conferees. “The economy will recover, but you have to give it time. Only in 2003 can we expect to see a robust recovery.”

Printing Industries of America chief economist Dr. Ron Davis forecast “a bounce-back beginning in the first or second quarter of 2002,” but warned “print markets are not going to recover quite that quickly, and not as much as the economy as a whole.” Comparing current sales forecasts to those PIA had developed before Sept. 11, Dr. Davis estimated that sales from the third quarter of 2001 through the end of 2002 will be $6.3 billion lower than they would have been in the absence of the terrorist attacks. Over the same six quarters, industry profits will be about $1.5 billion lower, he said.

An expanded summary of the conference is available on the NPES web site at Conference proceedings may be ordered for $150 from the member services department by telephoning (703) 264-7200 or e-mailing