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April 2014 US Commercial Printing Shipments $6.71 Billion

April 2014 US commercial printing shipments were $

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: June 3, 2014

April 2014 US commercial printing shipments were $6.71 billion, down -$97 million (-1.4%) compared to April 2013. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -3.7% (-$255 million). For the first four months of the year, shipments were $25.15 billion, down -3.2% on a current dollar basis, and down -4.8% after adjusting for inflation. (click chart to enlarge) printing shipments jan-apr 13-14 060314 Recently, the Commerce Department released their annual revisions of manufacturing shipments data, and left the data series used in these calculations unchanged. In the past, there have often been revisions to five years of data with the most recent three years having significant changes. This was not the case this year. The Department issued a revised seasonally-adjusted data series that we do not use. In the past few years, May has become the moth for the highest level of printing shipments. This was a marked change in industry history, which had always shown September through November as very strong months, driven mainly by consumer retailers. That is no longer the case. Retailing behaviors have changed significantly, as 75% of consumers are using smartphones for shopping, often while inside the stores. May seems to be the strongest month because it has always had benign and unremarkable trends and will less reason to lose industry-specific volume than other months. We expect May shipments to be in the range of $6.82 billion. # # #

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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