Print industry expands in January but no ‘return to growth’ yet: AI Group

Figures published by AI Group and compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed a rise in Australia’s Performance of Manufacturing Index’s in January, thanks to an overall increase in new orders and exports across the manufacturing sector.

Group chief executive Heather Ridout said to ProPrint: “The lift in recent activity in the paper, printing and publishing sector is a reflection of the overall improvement in the broader economy as consumer confidence grows and demand strengthens.

“While the expansion in this sector is welcome, caution is necessary as one month’s positive result does not herald a return to growth,” she added.

The industry tends to follow overall manufacturing trends. Sharp declines in September 2008 were followed by a period of solid growth from May 2009, which then slowed over the last few months.

Ridout said the industry is likely to follow the rest of the Australian economy out of the downturn.

“With the sector driven by overall economic activity, the outlook for 2010 is positive with early signs of improvement in the retail, housing construction and labour market over recent months,” she said.

Employment figures for the printing, paper and publishing industry experienced a “moderate” decline in January, in line with an overall contraction across the manufacturing sector. However, the industry also recorded a “moderate” boost in production and capacity.

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