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15-month recession takes toll – PrintNZ Industry Report

Tuesday, 22 December 2009
By Print 21 Online Article

Printing provides sole bright spot in outlook for 2010 with growth set to recover to 2.7 percent.

The overall printing and allied trades in New Zealand, which includes such sectors as paper, publishing and paper and book wholesaling is facing a continuing contraction of over 5% in the year ahead. Printing suffered a drop of 6% during 2009 but is predicted to recover quicker than most other sectors.

According to the authoritative PrintNZ Industry Report the protracted recession began in 2007/2008 summer due to a drought and soaring oil prices. As these began to fade the global financial crisis added its weight.

Overall NZ has weathered the downturn very well, according to the Report. While unemployment has climbed to 6% it is well below the 9.7% rate of the US.

But it has been a tough time. Staff numbers in the industry dropped, most notably for large businesses, with a 14% average decline for businesses with more than 100 staff.
Many printers cut back the number of shifts with less than half the number of companies in 2008 still working three shifts. The 40-hour single shift operation remains the main working pattern. Overtime figures are down dramatically with fewer companies paying penalty rates for extra hours.

According to Joan Grace the Report reminds that the majority of printing business are small to medium size. 77% are owner operated with the owner getting an estimated $60,000 remuneration.
She believes the industry has weathered the recession fairly well with those who have the business fundamentals in place doing better, no matter their size.

Just over half of the respondents to the Survey expect their businesses to grow in the next 12 months, although only 17% expect the industry to grow during that period. Overall there were 26 less printing businesses operating in NZ at the end of the year

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