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A very different industry has emerged from the downturn

It has been six years coming, but the UK economy has finally surpassed its pre-recession peak. That it is the last of the G8 to do so bar Italy, which is still 9% below its 2008 maximum and headed into its third recession, illustrates how protracted the recovery has been; nevertheless, for the past year our economic future has been looking progressively brighter.

M&A jump is evidence of recovery

Over the past few weeks there seems to have been an unprecedented spike in the amount of print M&A activity taking place and, believe it not, I’m not just talking about distressed sales or worse, the dreaded phoenixes.

Osborne backs business but faltering growth needs action

While the coalition's efforts to tackle the tricky subject of welfare reform have been filling column inches ever since last month's Budget, the lack of significant debate on the more important task of helping business and getting the economy moving again is indicative of the fact that the chancellor probably did just enough in this department to avoid opprobrium.

Autumn Statement fails to inspire print

This week's Autumn Statement has failed to 'wow' the print industry, despite the reduction in corporation tax, increase in capital allowances and scrapping of the 3p fuel duty hike.

Confused energy strategy is hobbling UK manufacturing

The recently published BIS report on future electricity costs for energy intensive industries (EIIs) only reinforces the view that many have held for some time - that current costs are higher here than in many of our global competitor nations and that this gap will only grow due to the implementation of a range of climate change measures here in the UK between 2013 and 2020.

Olympics: a double-edged sword for the print sector

With just seven days to go until the Olympics, the headlines have rightly focussed on the unmitigated disaster that is G4S's failure to fulfil its 284m contract to provide security for the London 2012 games. Meanwhile, for print the Olympics continues to be a double-edged sword.

June looks set to be the month of the hard sells

It's hard to imagine a combination of words that is likely to cause hearts in the web offset community to sink as fast as 'web-offset' and 'supersite' - except, perhaps for 'paper', 'price' and 'increases', of course.

Printing in prison could help industry if properly placed

Four years ago I visited Maidstone prison - not at Her Majesty's pleasure, I hasten to add, but for a feature - and came away impressed by what they were trying to achieve. The print shop manager told me at the time that the goal wasn't necessarily to produce high-quality work, but to produce rehabilitated prisoners, equipped with the skills to become a productive member of society upon release.

Getting a patent is exciting, but there are plenty of risks

Having a patent is just like winning a fast-track to a roller coaster: you feel great walking past the queues waving your ticket, until you get on the ride, and then it is an unpredictable journey of highs and lows that can result in you crashing back down to earth with an almighty bump.

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