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May 2014 Commercial Printing Shipments Raise Concerns

May printing shipments were $

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: July 2, 2014

May printing shipments were $6.738 billion, down -$238 million (-3.4%) compared to May 2013. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$412 million (-5.8%). April revised down by -$8 million to $6.71 billion (-1.4%). For the first five months of the year, shipments are down -3.3% on a current dollar basis, and -5% on an inflation-adjusted basis. (click chart to enlarge) printing shipments jan-may 13-14 070214 The May shipments are of concern because May has been the best month of the year for printing shipments for 2011, 2012, and 2013. The May 2014 shipments are the best of 2014 to date, but were lower than 2013's second best month, October. The difference is -$125 million in current dollars and -$238 million after inflation adjustment. This implies a weak finish to the year. Our main forecasting data series are the 12-month moving shipment totals, where the newest data are added and the oldest data are dropped. This way we always have an estimate of annual shipments and a simple approach to addressing seasonal factors in the data. That 12-month moving total is now -4.5% compared to last year at this time, and -6% on an inflation-adjusted basis. These data and updated forecasts to 2020 will be discussed in greater detail in the July 16 webinar. Be sure to sign up. # # #

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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