drupa Global Trends Report - executive summary
The 6th drupa Global Trends Report shows that the global print industry as a whole is in a stable condition.
- Global figures remain positive overall, with some regions and markets doing much better than others.
- Political and economic concerns for the future cloud otherwise positive prospects for the majority.
Globally 40% of printers stated their company economic condition was ‘good' in 2018 versus 13% who described their condition as ‘poor', the rest were ‘satisfactory'. This gives a positive net balance of 27%. For Suppliers the positive net balance was 19%. Both groups remain optimistic with c.50% expecting things to be better in 2019.
Conditions vary between regions and between markets. So North America continued to enjoy strong growth in 2018, Europe and Australia enjoyed steady growth, whilst Asia, the Middle East and S/C America were cautious and Africa was in decline. The 2018 results reflect the established pattern in most regions, although the decline in the Middle East and S/C America appears to be worsening.
The Packaging market thrives as does Functional, but there are clear signs of increasing caution in the Commercial market and Publishing remains subdued, with the encouraging exception of the books market.
In terms of Capital Expenditure, 41% of printers spent more in 2018 than 2017, while just 15% spent less and expenditure grew in all regions except Africa. Those in Packaging and Functional markets were very bullish while those in Commercial and Publishing markets were more cautious. It was broadly the same pattern amongst Suppliers. For printers, Finishing equipment was the most common target in 2019, followed by Print technology and then PrePress/Workflow/MIS. As for Print technology, Digital toner sheetfed colour was the most common target for investment in 2019 for all markets, except for Packaging where Sheetfed Offset took first place. Yet the Packaging market saw a 5% growth in the proportion of SKU's specifying digital print across all applications, except for Labels where the figure is already 40%.
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The UK printing industry was not immune to the economic turmoil in the second quarter of 2019 – both output and orders suffered a contraction to duck below the forecasts and into negative territory.
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