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March Printing Shipments Up +$319 million, +4.2%

March printing shipments were up +

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: May 2, 2007

March printing shipments were up +$319 million compared to 2006, or +4.2%. On an inflation-adjusted basis, they were up +$108 million, or +1.4%.

For the first quarter, shipments are up +$778 on a current-dollar basis and +$256 million on an inflation-adjusted basis. It must be remembered that these are "easy" comparisons because the beginning of 2006 was one of the worst periods the industry had in recent history.

Compared to 2005, the first quarter was down -$30 million on a current dollar basis, and -$1.58 billion on an inflation-adjusted basis. These latest data from the Commerce Department, however, show increased shipments compared to the prior year for eleven months in a row, and increases for seven of the last eight months on an inflation-adjusted basis.

The first quarter usually represents 24.5% of a year's shipments, which implies that the industry will have a total volume of $91.1 billion, about equal with last year.

April was also a slow month in 2006, and the more difficult comparisons begin with May. In about three months, the Commerce Department is likely to be issuing revisions to 2005 and 2006 data; we will issue an advisory and updated analysis at that time.

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

What do you think? Please send feedback to Dr. Joe by emailing him at drjoe@whattheythink.com.

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