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Economics & Research Blog

October Commercial Printing Industry Shipments Up +$253 Million

October 2007 commercial printing shipments were up +

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: December 5, 2007

October 2007 commercial printing shipments were up +$253 million compared to October 2006, or +2.8%. Adjusting for inflation, however, indicates a slight decline of -$67 million or -0.7%.
We get these shipments data from the Commerce Department's Factory Orders report. Note this text from the write-up by the Associated Press:
The Commerce Department reported that orders advanced by 0.5 percent in October, far better than the flat reading that had been expected. However, much of the strength came from a big jump in the cost of petroleum and other energy prices, which pumped up orders at oil refineries and chemical plants. The orders figures are not adjusted for changes in prices.
Inflation impairs the ability of executives to determine the true direction of their businesses and industries. This is why we also report the inflation-adjusted data, in which we create using the Consumer Price Index, in all of our reports. The printing industry is at best, flat. But all of our inflation-adjusted data have been declining for months, albeit slowly.
I will discuss these latest printing shipments data in my column appearing this Monday, as well as in detail in Wednesday's economic webinar. Be sure to sign up for the webinar today.
In other economic news, Monday's ISM manufacturing report still showed growth but the internal components of the report were, to put it mildly, rather grotesque. The ISM non-manufacturing report was better. Both reports indicated declines in employment.
Rumors abound about a half point Fed rate cut next week. As readers of mine know, I have been claiming that this will result in greater inflation. I still think that is the case, but the Fed may be emboldend to take such a move as the productivity data released today was very bullish against the rising inflation case.
There's lots of conflicting data to sort out next week, so be sure to tune in. I promise I will do my best to be the one-armed economist that Harry Truman always wanted.

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.



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