By Dr. Joe Webb on August 2nd, 2012
The US Commerce Department report of US commercial printing shipments for June 2012 was $6.85 billion, up +$139 million compared to last year (+2.1%). On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were up +$27 million (+0.4%).
For the first half of 2012 shipments were $40.1 billion, down -$400 million (-1.2%) compared to the same period last year, and down -$1.4 million (-3.4%) on an inflation-adjusted basis. (click chart to enlarge)
Comparing the 12-month period of July 2011 to June 2012 to the similar period of the year before, current dollar shipments were down -1.5% and -4.3% on an inflation adjusted basis. (click table to enlarge).
In May, the Commerce department issued significant revisions to its historical data. The details of those significant changes were discussed in a blog post at that time.
The shipments of May 2012 appear to be part of a problem with the Commerce Department data’s seasonality. This was a topic of a recent column. Because of those changes to seasonality, which may be corrected in next year’s data revision, it is important to look at data on a 12-month moving total basis, and comparisons of individual months may not be as reliable as they were in the past.