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Overall Economy and Sign Industry Expected to Grow

ALEXANDRIA, VA – April 26, 2021 – The overall economy is poised to grow beyond initial projections, leading the sign industry to also see improvement. But commodity prices continue to remain high and somewhat unstable, at least in the first half of the year, according to the Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report, produced by IHS Markit for the International Sign Association.

The report covers the first quarter of 2021 and was prepared in April. 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.

Some highlights:

  • The four market segments all show improving outlooks for 2021, with 2022 a year of continued recovery, IHS says. The end market architectural signage is expected to begin to decline in 2021.
  • IHS Markit has revised its forecast for year-over-year U.S. gross domestic product growth for 2021 and 2022, thanks to rates of vaccination and easing of restrictions. IHS anticipates growth in 2021 of 6.2 percent and 4.3 percent in 2022. Global growth also is expected to increase, to 5.1 percent in 2021 and 4.3 percent in 2022. Outside of the U.S., China is leading the global growth, expected to grow at 7.8 percent in 2021 and 5.7 percent in 2022.
  • Commodity prices remain high, though steel is expected to level off in the last half of the year. Paper markets are tightening while packaging supplies are starting to cool. Lumber remains high and will continue to increase in 2021.

The report is free for ISA, ISA Affiliated Association and NASSD members. Non-members may purchase it for $1,000 per quarterly forecast. This research can be accessed at signs.org/quarterlyreport. A recorded webinar, in which IHS details the findings of the report, can be accessed at signs.org/recorded-webinars/industry-research.