The latest Printing Outlook survey by the British Printing Industries Federation shows continuing improvement in output and orders. Almost two-fifths (37%) of printers saw rising output, somewhat below the forecast and meaning that the BPIF is now forecasting only a slight improvement for the Q3 survey.
However, the general state of trade in the printing industry was deemed to be better than expected during Q2. The balance between those believing that market activity rose rather than fell was, at +29, a significant improvement on Q1 – and above the Q2 expectation of +23. This is now the fifth consecutive positive result and has come from 45% believing the general state of trade improved; whilst 16% reported a deterioration of trade in the industry, and 39% no change.
Most printers says that competitors pricing below cost continues to be their main business concern. Concern over the level of output prices has jumped to become the second ranked concern, while the under-utilisation of capital equipment also worries printers. Other issues include access to skilled labour, the survival of customers and energy costs.
The survey was carried out online in the first half of July, with 96 printers responding. Further information from the BPIF website: www.britishprint.com/printingoutlook/