Printing and related support activities industry profile

Definition

Printing manufacturing comprises of establishments primarily engaged in printing and providing related support activities. Firms in the printing industry produce a variety of goods including: newspapers; books; labels; business cards; stationery; business forms; and other products. Related support activities are comprised primarily of services such as: data imaging; plate making services; book repairing; and book binding.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for this industry are:

  • 323 Printing and Related Support Activities
    • 32311 Printing
    • 32312 Support Activities for Printing (pre-press and bindery work)

Statistical summary

Printing and related support activities—NAICS 323—Major Economic Indicators
(millions of CDN $, employment in thousands)
Economic indicators 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 % change
2014-15
CAGR
20011-15
Gross domestic product 4,506 4,478 4,520 4,414 4,241 -3.9% -1.5%
Shipments 8,836.2 8,923.9 9,076.7 8,911.3 9,005.6 1.1% 0.5%
Total imports 1,249.3 1,267.5 1,381.7 1,430.1 1,590.7 11.2% 6.2%
Total exports 918.0 905.5 877.8 1,037.2 1,233.0 18.9% 7.7%
Re-exports 45.9 40.6 46.4 59.9 67.4 12.5% 10.1%
Apparent domestic market 9,167.5 9,285.9 9,580.5 9,304.2 9,363.3 0.6% 0.5%
Domestic market share 86.4% 86.4% 85.6% 84.6% 83.0% -1.6% -0.8%
Trade balance -331.3 -362.0 -503.9 -392.9 -357.7 9.0% -1.9%
Import penetration 13.6% 13.6% 14.4% 15.4% 17.0% 1.6% 0.8%
Export orientation 10.4% 10.1% 9.7% 11.6% 13.7% 2.1% 0.8%
Manufacturing intensity ratio 51.0% 50.2% 49.8% 49.5% 47.1% -2.4% -1.0%
Capital expenditures 186.4 200.7 198.3 294.2 282.6 -3.9% 11.0%
R&D 46.0 43.0 42.0 47.0 47.0 0.0% 0.5%
Employment 58.8 57.7 52.9 51.2 49.6 -3.1% -4.2%
Labour productivity 76.6 77.6 85.4 86.2 85.5 -0.8% 2.8%
EstablishmentsFootnote 1 4,148 4,084 4,103 3,143 3,012 N/A N/A

Definitions:

  • Apparent Domestic Market (ADM) = Shipments + Imports – Exports
  • Manufacturing Intensity Ratio = Gross Domestic Product (GDP) / Shipments
  • Import Penetration = Imports / ADM
  • Export Orientation = Exports / Shipments
  • Domestic Market Share = (Shipments – Exports) / ADM
  • Labour Productivity = GDP / Employment (thousands of CDN $)
1

Establishment data does not include "indeterminate" establishments

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Sources: Statistics Canada, Trade Data Online

Economic overview

The printing and related support activities industry exhibited negative growth between 2011 and 2015, even though shipments increased at a modest average annual rate of 0.5%. GDP contracted by an average annual rate of 1.5%, decreasing from $4.5 billion in 2011 to $4.2 billion in 2015. The printing and related support activities industry continues to predominantly supply the Canadian market, though domestic market share decreased by 3.4 percentage points to 83% between 2011 and 2015. Imports and exports both increased during the time period by $341.4 and $315 million respectively, and as a result, the trade deficit increased at an average annual rate of 1.9%. Between 2011 and 2014, the total number of establishments contracted by approximately 24% or 1,005 establishments, and the reduction was mirrored in employment, which decreased at an average annual rate of 4.2%. In 2015, 49,600 individuals were employed in the printing and related support activities sector and the industry consisted of 3,143 establishments.

Trends in the industry

Traditional printed products, such as advertising and books, are increasingly being consumed in electronic format. Digital displacement of print is a significant issue for the printing industry. Many companies are investing in digital technologies, offering cost savings and efficiencies.

Over the last few years, digital and ancillary services have gained a greater share of the printing market at the expense of offset printing. Primary reasons for this gain include improvements in digital technologies, the increased targeting and personalization of printed material, and the expansion of the typical printer’s business model to include additional related services.

In response to the structural adjustments occurring in the industry, some firms are changing their business models from focusing primarily on printed products to providing value-added services. Leading firms in the industry increasingly provide a broad range of ancillary services, such as marketing/advertising and communication services, to their clients. These may include both Internet-based solutions and printed material. Business strategies of printing firms typically include a mix of specialization and diversification:

  • Specialization, i.e. focusing on one specific type of printed product for a broad range of clients or clients in a limited number of industries;
  • Diversification, i.e. offering a broad range of value-added services (e.g. consulting services, design);
  • Providing online content management services in addition to printing.

Association

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