14 February 2022
Cost crisis and supply shortages to UK printing industry constrain growth in Q4
Recovery expected to continue in Q1 but confidence is fragile.
The UK printing and printed packaging industry has continued its recovery in Q4 - a majority of companies increased their output and order performance, and many expect to see further improvements in Q1. The Q4 improvement came despite the introduction (in December) of the Government's ‘Plan B' measures, in an attempt to dampen the spread of the Omicron Covid variant. Threats to future recovery and growth remain prominent, especially from increased Covid disruption and the spiralling costs of supplies, labour and energy.
The latest Printing Outlook survey reveals that 63% of printers managed to increase their output levels in the fourth quarter of 2021. A further 19% were able to hold output steady, however the remaining 18% did suffer a decline in output. The resulting balance (the difference between the ups and the downs) was +45, not quite as good as the +51 in Q3, but above the Q4 forecast (+38). Whilst the imposition of ‘Plan B' came quite late in the quarter it did still have a considerable limiting effect for those companies that work with clients in the events and hospitality sectorsDownloads
11 May 2022
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.
18 May 2022
But output price increases not enough to offset energy, material and wage cost increases and restore margins.