The printing industry in Spain has had a somewhat bumpy ride in recent years, and the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 worsened the situation. The country was hit hard by the virus and production volumes dropped more than in any other country in Europe, according to the Eurostat production index for printing and recorded media.
During the height of the COVID-19 crisis in April, the production volume index reached a value of only a third of the 2015 production average. As volumes were down compared to 2015 already before the crisis, the drop amounts to 60% below the pre-coronavirus average. In contrast, the EU output dropped only by 32% compared to the 2019 average.
The steep drop led to a strong recovery in May and June, but in July the recovery slowed. August brought another dip, likely due to the second wave of the coronavirus, which hit Spain earlier than other European countries. It seems that further production volume recovery will be a more drawn-out process. It is likely that we will see some revision of data in the months to come, as the numbers fluctuated a lot.
The index data gives a timely reference on how well industry sectors are doing. The indices do not show absolute money values, however. A less timely series gives insight into the production value in million euro on a yearly basis, which tends to paint a somewhat more positive picture for print.
Also, in the past, printing revenues fluctuated in Spain. Revenue in printing and recorded media reached almost €6 billion in 2018 in Spain (the “recorded media” portion is less than 1%), which is up from the €5.6 billion reached in the years since 2013. Prior to that, the printing industry did take a big hit in the euro crisis that followed the 2008/2009 financial crash. This sent the revenue in the printing industry down by 30%. We hope and expect that COVID is leaving less of a dent moving forward. It should be kept in mind that not all packaging and label print is included here, and revenue from in-plant and copy shops is missing completely.
Next time, we will have a look at the printing industry in Austria.