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March 2012 US Commercial Printing Shipments $7.145 Billion, Down -4.2% Compared to March 2011

March 2012 US commercial printing shipments were $

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: May 2, 2012

March 2012 US commercial printing shipments were $7.145 billion, down -$315 million (-4.2%) compared to March 2011. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$513 million (-6.7%). Because of changes to industry seasonality, March has become the biggest shipments month of the year, which makes these shipments data disappointing. February shipments were revised down by -$2 million. March is the end of the first quarter of 2012, and shipments compared to Q1-2011 were down -$520 million (-2.6%) on a current-dollar basis, and down -$1.1 billion (-5.2%) on an inflation-adjusted basis.  (click chart to enlarge) Changes in shipments have been previewed by changes in industry employment. April printing industry employment will be reported on Friday, May 4. On May 18, the Commerce Department will release revised data for the last 5 years, with the greatest magnitude of revisions in the last 3 years. Based on revisions of other macroeconomic data series, such as industrial production and retail sales, it is likely that shipments for 2010 and 2011 will be revised slightly downward, by -0.5% to -1%, but it is always best to see the actual data because industry data can differ greatly from that of the total economy. At that time, we will run all of our forecasting models and make revised forecasts. In past revisions, near-term forecasts may change, but long-term forecasts usually do not change in direction. # # #

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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