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The State of the Economy and Print

Dr. Joe wonders why there isn't a little spring to the industry's step with 14 months of better sales levels. It could just be that printers a feeling a sense of relief as they wonder what's next. And then there's the economy. Second quarter GDP look great, but was really less filling. He scratches the economic surface and finds some skepticism inside. If he didn't, he wouldn't be Dr. Joe.

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: September 28, 2015


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Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



By Terry Tevis on Sep 28, 2015

Hi Joe: Once again you provided an easy to understand summary of the print industry economics and some reasons to be guarded for 2016. The durable goods indicator seems to more important as an indicator than I thought. Deere just laid off 3000 and the mfg. sector seems a bit in shock with China and Brazil cutting back.

Thanks You for this meaningful way to address a very complex world economy. Do you think shipments will hold up in 2016 or revert back to the past 15 year negative CAGR?



By Joe Webb on Sep 28, 2015

We should always be aware of falling into a -2% CAGR but I think revenues will still be growing at +1% to +2% in real terms next year. Those small gains will still be hard fought. The printing businesses that are left have been purged of many of the "business as usual" owners and have more proactive and curious approaches.


By Joseph Pasky on Oct 15, 2015

I'd be interested in your (and printers) take on the support from paper companies and the steelworkers union for protective tariffs on imported coated papers. The policy is up for it's 5-year review.

While this may help the steelworkers and paper companies, I would think it hurts US printers more.



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