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Economics and Research

Welcome to the WhatTheyThink Economics & Research Center, where our Director, Dr. Joe Webb, collects, creates, and analyzes the economy, industry trends, and forecasts. Data are from many sources, including our own field research, and provide an overall view of the markets for content creation, print, publishing, digital media, and the factors that shape their future. The approach is often unconventional, and explores topics in ways executives need to ensure they have a richer view of their challenges and opportunities.

Graph Expo 2014 Event with Dr. Joe Webb

Join Dr. Joe Webb and WhatTheyThink for breakfast and thought-provoking commentary at Graph Expo. Scheduled for Tuesday, September 30th, from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM.

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NEW Data from the Economics & Research Center

Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments data series. View it here.

Industry Snapshot collection of regularly updated industry data about various measures of business activity. View it here.

Data Analysis

NFIB Small Business Index Breaks Through Recession Upper Range

NFIB Small Business Index Breaks Through Recession Upper Range

Small business seems to be improving, at least according to the NFIB monthly survey of small business owners. For years, it was usually trapped between two recession bottoms, but it has broken through of three consecutive surveys. It's an encouraging report, but it's not bullish. The NFIB commentary states “More owners still think business conditions will be worse in six months than think they will be better. Few see the current period as a good time to expand. The outlook for improvements in real sales volumes faded. Interest in borrowing continues to remain at record low levels; owners are satisfied with inventories and aren’t planning a lot of investment.” The NFIB is still in the range of a 2+% GDP growth level, but sees not robust small business activity in the near term. Basically, the NFIB report is good news in that conditions are better, but a big positive breakout in activity will remain elusive. More info

Data Analysis Archive

On-demand replay:
2014/2015 Economic Outlook Webinar with Dr. Joe Webb

This important session includes an economic overview and forecast, printing shipments and profits forecasts, industry demographics and other great insight and contrarian views that will help printing businesses and suppliers to the industry better plan for a successful 2015.

View the Webinar

 Suggested Reading

Index of Economic Freedom free data and commentary about the economies of more than 100 countries, government actions and regulations, business conditions, and social measures of the economies.

World Bank free report about doing business around the world

Mary Meeker's Internet Trends slide show
Pew's State of the News Media web site is packed with data and trends about print and electronic media

A Contrarian Word about Economic Data and Forecasts; The US Commercial Printing Forecast 2012-2018

News Stories Underscore Today’s Media Shift and The Need for Action by Print CEOs

Download the slides and audio of the December 8 economic webinar

Free slide and audio presentation by Dr. Joe about adjusting industry shipments for inflation on Slideshare


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