UK publishing sector ‘star export and productivity performer’
4 December 2017
New independent research has confirmed that the British
publishing industry, which is responsible for British blockbuster
books as well as world-leading academic and journal publishing,
could generate up to £7.8bn GVA for the wider UK
economy and support more than 70,000 jobs in direct, indirect and
The research - produced by Frontier Economics for The
Publishers Association and to be launched this week -
shows that 57% of total publishing turnover (£2.9bn) comes from
export revenues. 70% of these exports are to countries outside the
EU, principally North America (17%) and East and South Asia
Currently more than half of wider UK exports go to Europe,
suggesting that the publishing industry is outperforming other
sectors when it comes to developing global trade.
The UK remains the largest exporter of physical books in the
world, with a 17% share of world exports, more than the United
States (16%), Germany (10%) and China (8%). The industry's exports
generate a £1.1bn trade surplus annually, reducing the UK's trade
deficit by 2.2%.
The publishing industry directly employs 29,000 people in the
UK. The GVA figure per worker in publishing stands at £112,800,
more than twice the national average of £49,100 and more than
professionals working in newspaper publishing (£51,500) and IT
software and services (£81,400).
Since 2012, UK publishing gross value added (GVA) has increased
by 19% - faster than the growth of the UK economy as a whole (15%).
UK publishing companies play a critical role in supporting British
bookshops, which employ 12,000 people and generate £1 billion in
Academic publishing is becoming increasingly important to the
sector's overall performance, generating the majority of the
industry's turnover growth since 2010. More than £1.1 billion
of export revenues are derived from academic book and journal
sales, up 5% from 2015.
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of The
Publishers Association, said:
"The UK is a global publishing superpower. We have a great
export story to tell, with sales to North America and Asia seeing
double-digit growth and more and more global markets expanding for
books and journals alike. With productivity more than double the
national average, publishing has embraced the digital revolution
and is an exemplar of UK innovation at its best.
"Our sector has developed a highly specialised workforce,
invests heavily in new authors and intellectual property, and is
renowned across the world for the quality of its content.
"We are a model of what post-Brexit industry could look
like - international, globally focused, and highly productive.
Though other sectors may be bigger, government must not overlook
the needs of industries like ours, too."
See the PA website.