The Forecast 2018 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2018.
38% of respondents to the WhatTheyThink Business Outlook survey said that 2017 revenues increased by six percent or more compared to 2016; 33% reported that the number of jobs increased six percent or more from 2016.
In terms of revenues, the strongest businesses are either very small or very large shops, with the mid-size shops experiencing little revenue growth, especially when you adjust for inflation. As for profitability, smaller shops fared better than larger establishments.
“Pricing” is now reported by print business owners as their number one challenge, affirmed with the latest Producer Price Index data for printing from the Commerce Department.
Few print businesses have any substantial planned investments for 2018, but of those who do, binding and finishing equipment top the list.
Two-thirds of print businesses said they plan to hire staff in 2018, primarily graphic designers, marketing/communications specialists, and prepress operators.