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Q2 Advance GDP Strong +4%, “Cancels” Bad Q1

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The first look at GDP for Q2 was very positive, +4%, reversing the negative Q1 report. Below is the chart of real GDP with and without inventories, which shows underlying GDP growth in the +2% range when considered on a year-to-year basis. (click to enlarge)   Inventories have been volatile in the ...

EDDM Does Not Mean Elastic Demand Direct Mail

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Welcome to the always interesting world of USPS pricing strategy. Where else can someone say that they raised prices +9.4% and wonder why volume went down -6.7% and revenues only went up +2% compared to the same period of the prior year. Perhaps it was the weather, which got the ...

Dr. Janet & Dr. Joe

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

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 ...

Recovery Indicators Improve, Unemployment Report Better

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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 ...

May 2014 Commercial Printing Shipments Raise Concerns

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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 ...

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

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

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 ...

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

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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, ...

What “Other” Services Do Commercial Printers Offer?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

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 ...

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

Friday, June 6th, 2014

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 ...

Recovery Indicators Better in a Mixed Kind of Way

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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 ...