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Under the Radar: The Generational Change in Print Business Leadership

By on April 23rd, 2015 - Comment

What people experience based on the time they were born shapes their outlook and business strategies for years to come. If you were born in the 1940s, grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, and then owned or ran a printing business, your career has already shifted into retirement or is about to do so….

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Q1-2015 GDP Might be Negative, Or Close to It

By on April 15th, 2015 - Comment

Recent economic data have not been very encouraging for the first estimate of GDP. Last year, the first quarter was negative as there was a large inventory correction from prior quarters (and also the annual blame for Winter weather, as if Winter does not occur every year in seasonal adjustments… but that’s another story for…

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Recovery Indicators Mixed (Again… Yawwwwwwn…)

By on April 9th, 2015 - Comment

The latest recovery indicators were mixed, with weaker results in the ISM manufacturing report adding to a growing consensus that Q1-2015 GDP would be close to zero. The non-manufacturing ISM was more positived. The first estimate of GDP will be released at the end of the April. The NASDAQ fell back -1.3% since last month….

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US Commercial Printing Shipments Have Strong February, +5.2%

By on April 9th, 2015 - Comment

US commercial printing shipments in 2015 have started well with a good January and a strong February. February shipments were up +$300 million compared to 2014, +5.2%. The inflation-adjusted figure is virtually the same as inflation has been slightly negative in recent months. The chart shows combined shipments for January and February (click to enlarge):…

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March US Commercial Printing Employment Rises in Line with Seasonal Patterns

By on April 9th, 2015 - Comment

US commercial printers added employees in March, with an increase of +1,300 workers. This is less than in recent years: in 2012, for example, employment increased +1,500 workers. March is a strong month for the industry in recent years, and this rise is seasonal. What likely occurs is retail promotions for Easter and Spring increase…

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2014 US Commercial Printing Industry Profits Fall by -27% Compared to 2013

By on March 24th, 2015 - Comment

While US commercial printing shipments ended their skid at the end of 2014, industry profits fell compared to 2013. Even for the third and fourth quarter, where revenue comparisons were slightly higher than 2013 ($39.1 billion versus $38.8), profits were about -27% less ($1.47 billion versus $2.01). Nonetheless, the year was profitable, in line with…

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Ad Agency Revenues Have Strong 2014, Up +4.3%; Books and Specialty Publishing Revenues Continue Rebound From 2013 Bottom

By on March 18th, 2015 - Comment

For 2014, advertising agency revenues (+4.3%) and books and specialty publisher revenues +(3.2%) were bright spots amid the declines in periodical publisher revenues (-3.8%) and those of newspaper publishers (-6.3%). The chart below (click to enlarge) shows the long term trends. The data originate in the US Department of Commerce Quarterly Services Survey, and we…

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Public Relations Employment Continues to Shine; Magazine Employment Continues to Dip

By on March 18th, 2015 - Comment

Public relations employment boomed from January 2014 to January 2015, up +9.2%, an increase of +5,000 workers. This sector has benefited from the shift from paid media like print and broadcast advertising to the broader range of public relations formats. Where PR was, in an overly simplistic sense, the systematic process of getting the attention…

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Unemployment Report Better, But Progress Slower than it Implies

By on March 11th, 2015 - Comment

The continuing story of this economic recovery is how many of the high-level data in the headlines is not what it really seems to be when you look at the underlying data. The explanation of the difference is too complex for the evening news, and even on the cable business channels the focus is on…

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US Commercial Printing Industry has Strong January

By on March 5th, 2015 - Comment

US commercial printing shipments started with a good January, up $173 million (+2.8%) on a current dollar basis and up $178 million (+2.9%) on an inflation adjusted basis. Since inflation is now negative (overall prices going down according to the Consumer Price Index), purchasing power is arithmetically higher, so the inflation-adjusted dollars are worth more…

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