Printing Outlook

Home / Public affairs / Research / Printing Outlook

Printing Outlook is the BPIF's quarterly printing industry trends survey, compiled primarily from an online survey of BPIF members. It covers topics such as: your top business concerns, orders, output, price levels, capacity, costs, margins, investment, pay reviews, productivity, late payment and payment terms, public sector procurement, Web-to-print and paper & board prices and supply.

We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Canon, we'd like to thank Canon for their support - this will ensure all survey respondents receive a printed copy of Printing Outlook.

Canon partnership



As well as reporting on the BPIF's latest quarterly survey of trends in the printing industry, Printing Outlook now incorporates:

Printing Outlook is widely reported in the trade press, and feeds into the Bank of England and their provision of data to the Monetary Policy Committee. It is required reading for many suppliers to and investors in the industry, and is used by the BPIF to help represent the interests of our industry to other trade associations, the CBI, Government and the European and worldwide printing industries.

BPIF members can download the full report below; Printing Outlook press releases are available here.

BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2024


Performance in the UK's printing and printed packaging industry did improve in Q4, as far as output and orders are concerned. However, it didn't come close to what would historically be considered the seasonal norm, nor quite match the subdued expectations for Q4. Output was expected to return to growth in Q4, and that did indeed happen - on balance. Unfortunately, a few more companies than expected experienced a downturn, and that limited overall growth.

Previously, a fragile economy, lingering concerns over inflation levels, for both consumers and businesses, and the possibility of further interest rate increases; were restricting growth. These concerns have now diminished, inflation is expected to hit its 2% some time in Q2, market expectations are that interest rates will fall to 3.25% at the end of next year, and UK economic growth is expected to pick-up - albeit very gradually. However, caution over costs remain and, with rising tensions in the Middle East, and forthcoming elections in the US and UK, the geopolitical situation remains uncertain.

Printers continue to concentrate on controlling costs, increasing productivity, and be largely cautious regarding investment. Some cost pressures have eased, and whilst energy is expected to ease further, there is mounting concern over future paper and board prices, and labour costs - which will come under additional stress when national minimum wage increases add pressure to maintain wage differentials in the workforce.

However, capacity utilisation has improved in each for the last two quarters, some significant cost pressures have levelled out, a majority of companies seem to be in a decent financial position with positive investment intentions - and a particular focus on innovation, efficiency and sustainability related improvements.



BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2024

Read this issue

BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2024 BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2024
Slight recovery in output and orders falls short of expectations in Q4 - confidence concerns mount in 2024.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q4 2023 BPIF Printing Outlook Q4 2023
Output and orders remained subdued in Q3 - but improved confidence stimulates better expectations to see out 2023.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q3 2023 BPIF Printing Outlook Q3 2023
Print industry output, orders and confidence all flatlined in Q2 - only marginal improvement forecast for Q3 despite continued cost stabilisation.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q2 2023 BPIF Printing Outlook Q2 2023
UK printing industry contracted in Q1 as output and order levels fell - bounceback in confidence and performance expected during Q2 as cost pressures top out.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2023 BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2023
UK printing subdued in Q4 as output and orders underperform - confidence is depressed but end to cost crisis ahead.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q4 2022 BPIF Printing Outlook Q4 2022
Print output and orders held firm in Q3 - expectations for Q4 have deteriorated as confidence falters.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q3 2022 BPIF Printing Outlook Q3 2022
Boost to output for UK printing in Q2 - confidence for Q3 dips amidst concern over the impact of rising energy costs.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q2 2022 BPIF Printing Outlook Q2 2022
UK printing industry output continues to recover - but output price increases not enough to offset energy, materials and wage cost increases and restore margins.
BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2022 BPIF Printing Outlook Q1 2022
Cost crisis and supply shortages to UK printing industry constrain growth in Q4 - recovery expected to continue in Q1 but confidence is fragile.
Become a member today

The BPIF is the printing industries champion. By becoming a member you join a diverse and influential community. We help you solve business problems, connect you to new customers and suppliers and make your voice heard in government.

01676 526030