Global economy expected to begin recovering in mid-summer: ISA Quarterly Report

The International Sign Association’s (ISA – Alexandria, Virginia) Sign Industry Quarterly Economic Report anticipates a tough second quarter of 2020. But the good news, the organization said, is that the pandemic is expected to subside by the third quarter. The report was 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 should bounce back well in 2021, expanding at almost 4%,” it revealed. The report covers the first quarter of 2020 and was prepared in April.
It was 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.
Key highlights include:

  • 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 due to weakening demand, creating an opportunity to purchase.
  • End markets all face significant uncertainty, particularly as the shutdowns have impacted key customer groups such as retail and restaurants.

The report is free for ISA, ISA Affiliated Associations, and NASSD members. Non-members can purchase it for $1,000 (USD) per quarterly forecast. The research can be accessed at

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