WhatTheyThink    WhatTheyThink.com    Blogs    PrintPlanet

Author Archive

Industry Churn: How Our Industry Adjusts and Renews Itself, by the Numbers

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Data are finally available about the birth and deaths of printing industry establishments... for 2011. Sure, that was a few years ago, but the data are consistent with historical patterns. They are useful in helping us understand "industry churn" and how our industry disposes of weak companies and how stronger ...

Dr. Joe Finds Rare Species: A Printer at the Triangle American Marketing Association Luncheon

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

I was at the Triangle AMA luncheon last week in Raleigh, NC, and I was "shocked" to meet a printer. It has been a long-standing antic of mine to post on Twitter that I would pay for the lunch for a printer I saw at an AMA luncheon, stating that "my ...

Latest Inflation Multipliers: What “Gone With the Wind” and”Avatar” Teach Us About Money

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December, and it ended the year at +0.8% compared to December 2013. The primary reason for the decline in prices is the sharp drop in oil prices. This is eerily similar to the decline of oil prices ...

Since 2004, USPS Prices +38%, Consumer Prices +27%, Printing Prices +13%, Computers -44%, Wireless Communications -37%; What’s It All Mean?

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported inflation levels for 2014, and the data show the divergence of digital and hard media in a very stark manner. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 0.8% for 2014, cooling off at the end of the year with the drop in energy ...

Printing Employment Falls; Agency Employment Up; National Employment Rate Improves to 5.6%

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

US commercial printing employment decreased -1.4% in 2014, a decrease of -6,199 workers. A key demand segment for the industry, periodicals (mainly magazines), fell below 100,000 employees in 2014, a level not seen since 1986. The segment fell -7.9% in the year. (click chart to enlarge) Content creation segments were much ...

January to November 2014 Printing Shipments Nearly Even with 2013

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

US commercial printing shipments made their third strong showing in a row, and fifth positive month since May. Compared to November 2013, shipments were up by $171 million, or +2.7%. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were up +$113 million, or +1.7%. For the January to November period, shipments are nearly ...

Recovery Indicators Slammed After Upbeat Q3 GDP Revision

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

The recovery indicators took a hard body blow last month as the NASDAQ and the ISM indicators all retreated. One of the ISM measures, imports by non-manufacturing businesses, fell below the level it was when the recession started in December 2007. Proprietors' income was reduced slightly in the Q3 GDP ...

Profits Retreat in Q3

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Q3-2014 US commercial printing profits were $1.15 billion, down -12.9% compared to Q3-2014. Q3-2013 was the most recent peak of quarterly profits. The 4-quarter inflation-adjusted profits were $3.45 billion, up +15.1% for that period. The 4-quarter total profits most recent high was $4.12 billion for all of 2013. Since that time, ...

Ad Agency Revenues Rise While Publishing Revenues are Not

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Advertising agency revenues have risen from the inflation-adjusted annual rate of $80.6 billion to $115.1 billion in the last five years. This is not annual spending on advertising in the economy, but the amount of revenues that agencies get from commissions, fees, and their creative and management services.  The chart ...

China’s GDP is Now Largest in the World: But What Does that Mean?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

China's rise on the economic stage is remarkable. The country is in a vast and sometimes traumatic transformation, with political and philosophical tugs of war underway culturally, socially, and economically. The topics of trade and fairness and freedom are always in the news, but I would rather focus on what ...