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January to November 2014 Printing Shipments Nearly Even with 2013

US commercial printing shipments made their third strong showing in a row,

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: January 7, 2015

US commercial printing shipments made their third strong showing in a row, and fifth positive month since May. Compared to November 2013, shipments were up by $171 million, or +2.7%. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were up +$113 million, or +1.7%. For the January to November period, shipments are nearly even with 2013, down just -$35 million (-0.05%). On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments are down -$1.3 billion (-1.8%). (click chart to enlarge) Jan-Nov shipments 010715 October shipments were revised down by -$124 million to $7.0 billion, changing growth from the month from 4% to 2.2%. Despite the revision October 2014 was the first month that was $7 billion or more since October 2012. It is hard to determine the reasons for the rise these past months, but more will be made clear when USPS data are available for the period. The USPS started its fiscal year with a strong October, and may be the results of some very hotly contested Congressional and local elections. This writer is now based in North Carolina, where one of those US Senate races (Tillis defeated Hagen) received significant amounts of funding from the national parties. This may have been seen in EDDM and standard mail volumes. The only reliable way to attribute the increase is to have data for the non-election periods in upcoming months. But we believe that print remains a strong medium for local political contests where digital media is not as predictable and broadcast media are too expensive in that their reach is too broad, often well beyond the geographic area of electoral focus. # # #

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



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