Economic recovery? Maybe, but let's celebrate quietly

By Darryl Danielli, Wednesday 25 April 2012

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Could it be true? Is the print and packaging sector really leading the charge out of recession and the worst is now behind us?

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Okay, so the Begbies Traynor report highlighted in this week’s cover story measured the number of companies reporting distress, not those reporting success. But the number of the distressed was falling and that’s good enough for me.

It’s actually mirrored by the general feeling in PrintWeek towers too. In terms of the good-news-o-meter, there certainly seems to have been have been an upswing – not enough to warrant Peter Snow levels of wild gesticulation, but an upswing nonetheless.

An element of that has undoubtedly come from the vendor related Drupa activity, but this doesn’t really translate as money in the average printer’s pocket.

Equally, the anticipated Jubilympics boost doesn’t seem to have materialised, but that could be down to the insistence on utmost secrecy from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Palace.

More importantly, things seem to be picking up – anecdotally, at least. No one is putting the champagne on ice yet, but now the most common response to the question ‘How’s business?’ is no longer ‘Awful’. It’s: ‘Things are tough, but we’re busy’.

Of course, I’m prepared for tomorrow’s announcement that the UK is officially back in recession, and for the PrintWeek newsdesk to be hit by a wave industry insolvencies. But for me, the fact we can even think the unthinkable – that we may have begun to turn a corner – will do for now.

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