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Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report Shows Difficulty, Recovery




No surprise that the ISA Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report anticipates a tough second quarter of 2020. But the good news: the pandemic is expected to subside by the third quarter. The QER is compiled by IHS Markit and analyzes each segment of the market upstream and downstream to allow users to stay current with evolving business conditions.

The pandemic has sent the global economy into a deep recession, which analysts expect will be worse than 2009. But it will bounce back well in 2021, expanding at almost 4 percent. The report covers the first quarter of 2020 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:

•    Steel prices are soft currently, offering buyers an opportunity. Rates are expected to rebound in the second half of the year. 
•    Pulp and paperboard prices are propped up by packaging demands. Paper prices are expected to fall modestly in the second quarter. 
•    Lumber prices have dropped off due to weakening demand, creating an opportunity to purchase. 
•    End markets all face significant uncertainty, particularly as the shutdowns have impacted key customer groups like retail and restaurants.  

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. EST /11 a.m. PST Wednesday, April 22. Register at 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




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