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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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Q1-2014 GDP Revised Down to -2.9%; Will We Start Hearing the “R” Word?

By on June 25th, 2014 - Comment

The Bureau of Economic Analysis made their first report of Q1-2014 GDP at the end of April stating it was +0.1%. Then in May they revised it to -1.0%. Everyone blamed it on the weather. On June 25, the BEA revised it to -2.9%. Whoops! The original estimate of proprietors’ income, one of our best…

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Ad Agencies Increasing Revenues in the Digital Media Era; Publishers Get Socked

By on June 24th, 2014 - 2 Comments

The “content is king” mantra keeps taking a beating in terms of the revenues of publishers. As I detailed in Spring of 2012, it seemed that if content was king, it was of a small country, and those publisher revenues keep getting smaller. The chart below shows the latest revenue data, on an inflation-adjusted basis,…

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What “Other” Services Do Commercial Printers Offer?

By on June 16th, 2014 - 2 Comments

What services do printers offer, and which of those additional services do they produce themselves? This was one of our questions in the May 2014 survey of (209 US commercial printer respondents). A few comments about methodology are in order. The list of services was supplied in the questionnaire; respondents were not asked which services…

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Unemployment Rate Steady at 6.3%; Data Imply Stabilizing Labor Market

By on June 6th, 2014 - 4 Comments

The national unemployment rate stayed at 6.3%, and this was a better report than reported by the mainstream business press. The labor force increased by +192,000 and most of those workers found jobs. Employment increased by +145,000. The labor participation rate is still lower than last year, at 62.8%, but it seems to have stabilized….

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Recovery Indicators Better in a Mixed Kind of Way

By on June 5th, 2014 - Comment

The recovery indicators were more encouraging this month, despite the revision to Q1 GDP to -1%. In that report, the original estimate of proprietors’ income was reduced to $1,366 billion from its original $1371. (click chart to enlarge) As for the other indicators, the NASDAQ bounced around a bit but still came out 3% ahead…

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April 2014 US Commercial Printing Shipments $6.71 Billion

By on June 3rd, 2014 - 2 Comments

April 2014 US commercial printing shipments were $6.71 billion, down -$97 million (-1.4%) compared to April 2013. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -3.7% (-$255 million). For the first four months of the year, shipments were $25.15 billion, down -3.2% on a current dollar basis, and down -4.8% after adjusting for inflation. (click chart…

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GDP for Q1-2014 revised to -1%; A Sign of Recession or Inventory Correction?

By on May 29th, 2014 - Comment

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the second revision of Q1-2014 US Gross Domestic Product (GDP), indicating a contraction of the US economy in the quarter. As reported in prior (“laughable and embarassing”) analysis, an inventory buildup in the last two quarters of 2013 distorted the underlying condition of the economy. That conjecture about businesses…

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