The economy is facing a higher winter peak in COVID-19 and more fiscal stimulus in late 2020. This leads IHS Markit to anticipate a growing gross domestic product output in 2021. The IHS analysts anticipate growth around 4 percent in 2021 and 2022, according to the Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report, produced by IHS Markit for the International Sign Association.
The report covers the fourth quarter of 2020 and was prepared in January. It is sponsored by the National Association of Sign Supply Distributors (NASSD). The report assesses four segments of the industry: two supplier markets (printing and electrical/digital signage) and two end markets (electric/digital signage and architectural signage). It also forecasts commodities.
- Global real GDP has fallen an estimated 4.0 percent in 2020, its steepest decline since 1946. The most severe downturns have occurred in India, Western Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. China and the Asia Pacific region are expected to recover first and dominate growth for much of the next decade.
- Steel prices are rising globally, partially from improved demand moving faster than production restarts, and partially from a weaker dollar. Steel sheet prices in the U.S. have spiked faster than ever.
- Lumber prices are expected to stabilize in 2021.
- Supply Side Printing faces a less optimistic outlook than the other segments due to high or uncertain input costs.
- Both end markets faced the largest 2020 declines due to low demand for in-person retail and falling construction spending. Both should return to higher-than-average rates in 2021, with architectural growing at a solid pace.
Those interested in learning more about the ISA Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report, including the outlook for the rest of the year, can participate in a free webinar hosted by ISA at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT Tuesday, January 26. The webinar is free for ISA, ISA Affiliated Association and NASSD members, or $100 for non-members.
The report also is free for ISA, ISA Affiliated Association and NASSD members. Non-members may purchase it for $1,000 per quarterly forecast.