The 6th drupa Global Trends Report, available at www.drupa.com, says the global print industry is in stable condition overall. 

Globally 40 percent of printers stated their company economic condition was “good” in 2018 compared to 13 percent who described their condition as “poor.” The rest rated it as “satisfactory.” This results in a positive net balance of 27 percent. For suppliers the positive net balance was 19 percent. Both groups remain optimistic, with 50 percent expecting better conditions in 2019, according to a news release on the report.

North America continued to enjoy strong growth in 2018, Europe and Australia had steady growth, while Asia, the Middle East and South and Central America were cautious and Africa was in decline, the release said. 

The packaging market thrives as does functional, but there are clear signs of increasing caution in the commercial market and publishing remains subdued, with the encouraging exception of the books market, the release said.

Conventional print volumes continue to decline but slowly, according to the release. In 2013, 23 percent of printers reported that digital print was more than 25 percent of turnover. In 2018, the proportion of printers had increased to 29 percent. Nevertheless, sheetfed offset remains the most common form of print technology, present in 66 percent of all printers. Sheetfed offset volume continues to grow in packaging but there was a clear decline among commercial printers for the first time. 

The results are from the sixth annual survey conducted by Printfuture (U.K.) and Wissler & Partner (Switzerland) in autumn 2018. Over 700 printers and 200 suppliers (senior managers who visited or exhibited at drupa 2016) participated, with all regions represented.

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