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October US Commercial Printing Shipments Increase, and Balance Much of September’s Decline; Q3 Profits Rise; Details in New Report

By on December 13th, 2012

October 2012 US commercial printing shipments were up +$251 million, or +3.6% versus 2011, the first positive October since 2010. “On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were up +$100 million, or +1.4%,” said Dr. Joe Webb, Director of the WhatTheyThink Economics & Research Center. The latest report of shipments has been released by Dr. Webb and Strategies for Management, Inc.

Dr. Webb also reported that the contraction in September’s shipments were revised down by another $49 million. “September was a difficult month. Shipments were down -3.9% on a current dollar basis and down -5.8% after adjusting for inflation compared to 2011,” he explained.

Profits adjusted for inflation improved on a short-term basis. For Q3-2012 were $1.45 billion compared to $1.29 billion in Q2. Dr. Webb believes that despite the long-term downward trend in shipments, profits are no longer being dragged down by poor-performing print businesses. “In a bad economy, being a poor performing business means you have little access to capital, and almost no freedom of action, so it is easy to get pushed out of the marketplace.”

The report also includes a discussion of Canada’s September printing shipments.

Designed for the use of printing industry executives and industry suppliers, the report can be downloaded at Dr. Webb’s new e-store. Each edition is published as a downloaded .zip file that contains…

  • Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt) slide deck for easy cut-and-paste use in company presentations and planning sessions
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF of complete slide deck for confidential internal company distribution
  • Audio commentary (mp3 file) by Dr. Joe Webb
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls) of US & Canada data, in current and inflation-adjusted dollars; Canada data are also presented in US dollar terms

The monthly report is available for US$50 at the e-store. Annual subscriptions are also available at a special rate.

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  1. One Response to “October US Commercial Printing Shipments Increase, and Balance Much of September’s Decline; Q3 Profits Rise; Details in New Report”

  2. By carl gerhardt on Jan 16, 2013 | Reply

    I contend that part of the swing between September and October would have more to do with “working days” in 2012 versus 2011. Dr. Joe and I have had a running argument or should I say dialog about this.
    Why else would there be this much variance in actual business conducted one month to the next. OK Joe, I get it that large commercial printers behave differently than those of us in the quick/small commercial segment in how they do billings/shipments etc. But that much? I doubt it when there were two “working” days difference between September and October to ship/bill.
    See someone actually reads these reports.