Strong recovery in UK printing industry in Q2 but activity still short of pre-Covid levels
Q3 improvements expected despite intense cost pressures, pings and holidays.
The forecasted strong recovery in the UK printing and printed packaging industry was realised in Q2 and is expected to carry into Q3 - though at a slightly lower rate as holidays and isolation pings disrupt the revival. The Covid-19 outbreak hit at the end of Q1, Q2 bore the brunt of the impact and whilst Q3 exhibited a recovery, of sorts, Q4 experienced a halt on that recovery path and Q1 saw some moderate improvements as an equilibrium was achieved between the ups and the downs. It has taken until Q2 this year for significant improvements in workloads to come through, now the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are being lifted and more of the economy is opening-up. Q3 is expected to see continued growth and increased activity levels.
The latest Printing Outlook survey reveals that 58% of printers managed to increase their output levels in the second quarter of 2021. A further 29% were able to hold output steady, whilst the remaining 13% suffered a decline in output. The resulting balance (the difference between the ups and the downs) was +45, a significant jump up from -1 in Q1, and only a little short of the Q2 forecast (+50). The largest report output balance for seven-and-a-half years has ensured that output has now returned to the positive zone (where more companies report an improvement rather than a decline) after 15 months in negative territory.Downloads
Access the latest edition of the Economic Newsletter for the European Printing Industry for data on industry turnover, energy prices, paper consumption and pricing data for pulp, paper, recovered paper and packaging grades.
But output price increases not enough to offset energy, material and wage cost increases and restore margins.