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‘Moderate’ growth outlook for print: global study

Wednesday, 02 May 2018
By Print21

Commercial printing and marketing will grow at a moderate pace of 0.7 percent through 2020, with print packaging set for a healthy annual global growth rate of 4.5 percent, according to a comprehensive global study carried out by the Association for Print Technologies and the Printing and Paper Technology Association within VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany.

However, print growth will be dragged down by publishing printing, which will contract at an annual rate of 2 percent.

According to the new study, print packaging, publishing printing, and marketing and commercial printing, the largest industry segments which account for a majority of the worldwide market, are projected to expand from $389bn in 2017 to $421bn in 2020, increasing 2.7% on average per year.

The outlook for publishing printing will remain challenging over the next five years with the rise of digital media and decline in printed advertising sales continuing to create a difficult environment.

As of 2017, the top five publishing printing markets in the world are China, U.S., Japan, UK and France, which together account for over 71% of the global market.

With exchange rates expected to level out in the coming years, the growth in marketing and commercial printing revenues will rebound in 2017–21.

While the US, UK, Germany, China and France are the five largest marketing and commercial printing markets, Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region, with India, Indonesia and Vietnam leading the way.

With the worldwide connection to the internet, publishing printing and marketing and commercial printing are losing ground, especially in developed markets. Conversely, in emerging markets, technology has allowed countries to advance to digital media. However, printing is still a cheaper and more effective medium where fewer of the population are regularly online.

For this first ever co-produced multi-phased study by global association leaders, APTech and VDMA Printing and Paper Technology, a team of consultants from The Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of The Economist Group, worked with a joint task force of APTech and VDMA member companies to conduct the most comprehensive research and analysis to date on the global print packaging, publishing printing, and marketing and commercial printing markets.

In 2013, APTech (formerly NPES) published the landmark World-wide Market for Print: Identifying Global Opportunities for the Print Industry study, which framed an understanding of the size of the global print and imaging industry.

Recommendations from The Economist Intelligence Unit for equipment manufacturers, suppliers, printers, and brand owners include: Identifying and investing in key country markets based on business priorities and regional focus; seeking value throughout each area of the supply chain; focusing on specialized market niches; adapting to changing market dynamics; and improving data analytics in all business areas.

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