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“Worst is Behind Us”: Economic Report Q2 2020

The outlook for 2020 continues to decline, despite a sharp rebound in the economy earlier this summer, according to the Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report for the second quarter. The report shows that the recession was short-lived and will have less of an impact on 2021 than expected.

Still, IHS Markit puts a 20 percent probability on a second wave of COVID-19, which is not factored into a potential recovery.

The report covers the second quarter of 2020 and was prepared in June. 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:

  • IHS Markit has revised its forecast for global growth in 2020 upward. World real GDP is now expected to contract 5.5% this year, followed by a 4.4% recovery in 2021.
  • Pricing makes sheet steel a good purchase. Prices are past their bottom and will start to rebound over the second half of the year. As COVID-19 shutdowns ease, demand partially revives, boosting sheet production and prices.
  • In terms of lumber, IHS anticipates slow increases in 2020, with sizable pricing jumps in 2021.
  • Business fixed investment is expected to fall 10.3% this year before turning up to 1.3% and 4.8% growth in 2021 and 2022.
  • Commercial construction spending is expected to plummet in 2020, falling 21.2%, with a drop across nearly all components driving the decrease in overall activity.

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 Wednesday, July 22. Register at www.signs.org/webinars. 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. This research can be accessed at www.signs.org/quarterlyreport.