By Dr. Joe Webb on September 10th, 2007
The Commerce Department released data about second quarter profits, and it was an excellent report. Profits before taxes were 6.9%, the best reading since the third quarter of 2000, when it was 10.7%. Industry profits for the quarter were $1.73 billion, the first time it broke that level, on an inflation-adjusted basis, since the third quarter of 2000, when it was nearly $3.5 billion. For the last four quarters, inflation-adjusted profits were $5.15 billion, a height not reached since the second quarter of 2001, when inflation-adjusted annualized profits were $5.43 billion in 2007 dollars. The idea of making money from printing might be alien to many in the industry, considering the numerous quarters of pain since 2000, so the idea of having a smile or a spring to one's step walking the show floor at Graph Expo may be confusing as well. Has the industry turned around? We're not at pre-2001 levels, but these data are certainly very encouraging and worth crowing about. I'll discuss this, and more, at tomorrow's event at Graph Expo, starting at 8am (breakfast) Chicago time. See you there. Be sure to sign up if you haven't already.