Commercial Printing Outlook: Stay on Offense, Not on Defense (

Economically, 2024 is likely to look much like 2023 for the commercial printing industry, with sales growing modestly at best and margins tight. Top challenges will again include operating cost inflation, particularly rising labor costs, and stiff resistance to price increases. Top opportunities will include strengthening risk management and drawing on artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize productivity, enhance mission-critical functions, and support superior decision-making companywide.

The 86 commercial printers who have participated to date in the third quarter 2023 PRINTING United Alliance State of the Industry Survey, sponsored by Canon U.S.A., broadly agree that uncertainty about the course of interest rates and the American economy has caused clients to “tighten their belts significantly.” The group’s sales (all sources) continued to grow through September, but by just 2.9%, on average. Operating cost inflation moderated to 4.6% as supply chains continued to heal, but weakened demand limited price increases to 3.9%.
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