Economics & Research Blog
Commercial Printing Profits Rise Again
For five consecutive quarters,
By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: March 30, 2011
For five consecutive quarters, inflation-adjusted annualized profits for the U.S. commercial printing business have risen. For the last year, these profits have totaled $3.4 billion, and have almost reached the prior trend bottom of 2005, which was $3.66 billion. (Click on chart to enlarge)
We will offer a more detailed analysis next week. These before-tax profits, while not historically high, are the result of continuing consolidation, the closure of weak print businesses, and the steady pruning of costs. That decrease in costs is mainly attributed to the contracting print labor force, which has shown no sign of leveling. Though sales have improved, they are relatively flat.
Whether the profits will maintain their rising course in light of increasing materials costs remains to be seen. But this is nonetheless good news and a reward for navigation of difficult economic and technological circumstances.