Sales on promotional products jumped 4.7% last year to $16.9 billion, the highest figure ever recorded.
And indicators point to a strong 2005 as well, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s fourth quarter Industry Sales Survey.
The survey found that 61% of distributor member firms reported that fourth quarter revenues were up versus the same period in 2003. Most remaining distributors indicated that sales were unchanged year over year.
The distributors cited two factors contributing to the rise in sales: the more widely and accepted use of promotional products in overall marketing strategies and the strengthening North American economy.
“After a sales downturn that began in 2001 and continued in 2002, we’ve now rebounded to this new record of $16.9 billion,” said Timothy M. Andrews, ASI’s president. “Fourth quarter 2004 statistics are strongly suggesting that the industry is healthy and sales are continuing on an upward swing for 2005.”
Distributors forecast a sales increase of at least 5% for 2005. Only 8% predicted flat or a dip in revenues.
Printing, graphic design and other industry-related shops are showing signs of expanding into promotional products, the study said.