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First Revision to Q2-2014 GDP is Up, Now Estimated at +4.2%

By on August 28th, 2014 - Comment

The first revision to the second quarter’s GDP raised the estimate from +4.0% to +4.2%. Remember, this follows a first quarter that was revised three times and is currently estimated as -2.1%. It’s probably best to think of the second quarter as “catch up” for a variety of factors including an inventory timing adjustment and…

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Dr. Joe Rambles About Marketing, Printed Electronics, Staples, and Retail Sales

By on August 21st, 2014 - Comment

The CMO Council has released its State of Marketing 2014 report, and here are some highlights from the executive summary; I have identified some key phrases in italics: more than half of marketers pointed to their effectiveness in uplifting digital marketing capabilities and improving engagement with customers online nearly 60 percent of chief marketers list…

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NFIB Small Business Index Up Slightly

By on August 14th, 2014 - Comment

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has a monthly survey of members that is watched by economists interested in judging the health of small business. The press release for the most recent report can be downloaded from their site. The report is available for download as a PDF. Their economist noted that “capital spending…

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Recovery Indicators Mixed, Strong ISM New Orders Data; A Different Look at Employment

By on August 5th, 2014 - Comment

The recovery indicators were mixed yet again, but the ISM New Orders for manufacturing and non-manufacturing were very strong. This implies a strong start to Q3. (click chart to enlarge) The NASDAQ had a tough month with markets adjusting to the suspicion that the Federal Reserve will take away the low interest rate punch bowl…

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June US Commercial Printing Shipments Rise +4.2%; First Half of 2014 Down -2.2%

By on August 5th, 2014 - Comment

June 2014 US commercial printing shipments were up $252 million (+4.2%) compared to 2013. On an inflation-adjusted basis, they were up $111 million (+1.8%). May 2014 shipments were revised down -$46 million, and finished the month down -$284 million (-4.1%) on a current dollar basis, and down -$458 million (-6.4%) compared to May 2013. For…

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Q2 Advance GDP Strong +4%, “Cancels” Bad Q1

By on July 30th, 2014 - 4 Comments

The first look at GDP for Q2 was very positive, +4%, reversing the negative Q1 report. Below is the chart of real GDP with and without inventories, which shows underlying GDP growth in the +2% range when considered on a year-to-year basis. (click to enlarge)   Inventories have been volatile in the last year, with…

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EDDM Does Not Mean Elastic Demand Direct Mail

By on July 24th, 2014 - 8 Comments

Welcome to the always interesting world of USPS pricing strategy. Where else can someone say that they raised prices +9.4% and wonder why volume went down -6.7% and revenues only went up +2% compared to the same period of the prior year. Perhaps it was the weather, which got the blame for all things economic…

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Dr. Janet & Dr. Joe

By on July 17th, 2014 - Comment

I’m not qualified to head the Federal Reserve, that’s for sure. Nor am I a professional economist, something that our industry’s economists can certainly agree about without saying “on the other hand.” But I do have a job to explain economic trends from a businessperson’s perspective. That often gets lost in the shuffle of financial…

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Recovery Indicators Improve, Unemployment Report Better

By on July 3rd, 2014 - Comment

The recovery indicators were mainly better this month, with the NASDAQ bouncing around then finishing well, and three of the four ISM indicators increasing. The one that didn’t is still firmly in expansion territory. The original estimate of proprietors’ income was $1,371 then it was reduced to $1,366 billion and now it’s $1,359. (click chart…

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May 2014 Commercial Printing Shipments Raise Concerns

By on July 2nd, 2014 - Comment

May printing shipments were $6.738 billion, down -$238 million (-3.4%) compared to May 2013. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$412 million (-5.8%). April revised down by -$8 million to $6.71 billion (-1.4%). For the first five months of the year, shipments are down -3.3% on a current dollar basis, and -5% on an…

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