Global print industry returns to growth and forecasts to reach US$834 bn in 2026

According to latest research from Smithers, the global printing industry, which is of $US760 billion, has returned to growth in 2021 and is forecast to reach $US834 billion in 2026. But the recovery has not been uniform across all segments of the industry. Commercial, graphics, publications, packaging and label printing all face fundamental challenges in adjusting to the market space in the wake of COVID, says the new Smithers report titled ‘The Future of Global Printing to 2026’. The positive news is that after a highly disruptive 2020, markets have recovered across 2021, although this is not uniform across all segments, it says.

Total value of global printing will reach $760.6 billion in 2021, with the equivalent of 41.9 trillion A4 prints produced worldwide. This is up from $750 billion in 2020, but volumes have declined further, down 5.87 trillion A4 prints from 2019. The effect has been most pronounced in publications, and some graphics and commercial applications. Lockdown (stay-at-home) orders led to a sharp drop in magazine and newspaper sales, only partially compensated for by a short-term increase in orders for educational and leisure books; and much of regular commercial print and graphics work was cancelled. As a degree of stability returns to end-use markets investment in new print and finishing equipment will be $US15.9 billion this year. As the world increasingly connects electronically, print equipment will embrace more Industry 4.0 and web-to-print concepts.

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