Promotional products industry sales were up 5.9 percent in June 2018 compared to the year-ago level, according to the PPAI/ITR Economics second-quarter 2018 Market Outlook Report. However, as 2018 winds down, growth for suppliers and distributors is expected to slow into at least early 2019.

ITR Economics found the supplier member index annual growth rate climbed 4.9 percent in first quarter 2018, measured year over year. The economic research and consulting firm forecasts suppliers turning in 3.8 percent growth in 2018. Looking ahead, the supplier member index growth will slow in late 2018, before declining into mid-2019—pulling suppliers back 1.1 percent in 2019—before rebounding into 2020, returning to growth of 5.8 percent.

Industry distributors registered growth of 6.5 percent in second quarter, compared to the year-ago level. Like their supplier counterparts, distributors should see growth slow over the last half of 2018. ITR projects distributor growth of 4.6 percent in 2018 before a mild contraction of 0.9 percent in 2019. In 2020, distributor growth should return, projected at 7.5 percent.

The PPAI Market Outlook Report is a quarterly snapshot of the promotional products industry. The goal of the report is to provide insight into current business cycle trends that affect member companies, allowing members to make better business decisions to increase profitability and mitigate risk. On August 23, ITR will host a webinar for PPAI members interested in learning more about the reports and how to apply them in their business.

An executive summary of the PPAI/ITR Economics’ first-quarter 2018 Market Outlook Report is available on PPAI's website. To access the full report, become a participant in PPAI’s quarterly Market Outlook Survey. Learn more by contacting Mo Das, PPAI research manager, at or 972-258-3058.