The new Printing Outlook 2023 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2023 and beyond.
The executive report looks back at 2022 as well as ahead to what the industry can expect, economically and technologically, in 2023 as the economy at large and the industry in particular contend with the new challenges that have emerged post-pandemic, such as consumables and supplies availability and employee scarcity, the pre-existing trends that had been amplified by the pandemic, and the new trends have emerged. How will they play out in 2023 and beyond?
The report features the results of the WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Business Outlook Survey conducted in Fall/Winter 2022, and includes current and expected business conditions, top business challenges, top business opportunities, and planned investments for 2023. Additional questions asked about the print businesses; experiences during the supplies and consumables “supply chain” crisis of 2022, and industry event attendance plans, as well as hiring plans for the next 12 months, what positions are being sought, and how they are searching for employees.
The report also offers the latest government data on printing industry shipments, establishments, profits, and employment. This year, we have expanded the segments for which we provide demographic data, including signage and display and packaging and converting businesses. The report also includes macroeconomic data, to look at how the overall economy might impact print businesses in 2023, and includes an industry forecast to 2032, as well as technology and cultural trends the industry should prepare itself for in 2023.
Print business owners will find the report essential for their planning, in order to put the marketplace and their strategic actions in realistic perspective. Industry suppliers will benefit from the insights into printer decision-making processes and the foundation of new industry demographic data that debuts in this report. Non-economic trends also offer ideas for what to pay attention to in the new year, and larger cultural and technological; trends indicate where marketing professionals and brandowners will likely be focusing their promotional dollars.
- 19% of print businesses surveyed said that revenues for 2022 had increased more than 25% compared to 2021
- All told, more than three-fourths (77%) of print businesses surveyed reported an increase in revenues in 2022 compared to 2021.
- The top challenge this survey was seemingly ripped from the headlines: “availability of consumables and supplies” was selected by 45% of respondents. “Consumables and supplies pricing,” is number two, selected by 42% of respondents.
- The pre-pandemic number one new business opportunity—“customers outsourcing more work to us”—has squeaked back into the top spot at 30%. Last year’s number one, “improving economic conditions,” is at number two this year at 29%.
- Unlike previous years, “we have no planned investments” was selected by only 15% of respondents; “finishing/bindery equipment” and “additional space/new location” are top investment categories. “High-speed production inkjet printing equipment” also came in at a record high in the latest survey.
- Only 63% respondents have hiring plans for 2023—and the top positions being sought this year are salespeople.
Table of Contents:
|Table of Contents|
|Introduction: Back In Black||5|
|Out with the Old, In with the Old||5|
|How This Report Is Organized||5|
|For More Information||6|
|1. Business Conditions||7|
|Business Conditions Summary||18|
|The WhatTheyThink Business Conditions Index||19|
|2. Challenges, Opportunities, and Investments||21|
|Top Business Challenges||21|
|3. Supplies and Consumables Challenges||34|
|5. Hiring Plans||42|
|6. In Their Own Write||48|
|7. Graphic Communications Industry Economic Trends||52|
|Graphic Arts Employment||62|
|Employees Per Establishment||63|
|Publishing and Advertising||67|
|Packaging and Converting||79|
|Paperboard Container Manufacturing||79|
|Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing||81|
|Stationery Product Manufacturing||82|
|Other Converted Paper Product Manufacturing||84|
|Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing||85|
|Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing||87|
|Other Paperboard Container Manufacturing||89|
|8. Macroeconomic Data||91|
|Corporate Cash Flow||94|
|Industrial Production Index||95|
|Consumer Sentiment Index||96|
|Consumer Price Index||97|
|Employment Cost Index||98|
|Employment and Unemployment||98|
|Labor Force Participation Rate||103|
|Not In Labor Force||104|
|New Business Formation||106|
|Architecture and Construction||109|
|Architecture Billings Index||109|
|The Economic Landscape||111|
|9. Industry Trends and Forecast||113|
|Trends Affecting the Industry||113|
|Ultimately: The Only Trend That Matters||120|
|Industry Shipments Forecast||120|
|The Last Word||122|
|Appendix A. Demographics||123|
|Appendix B. Methodology and Questionnaire||133|
|Appendix C. Survivor Bias||143|