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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.

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

Advertising Agency Revenues Up at Annual Rate of 7% Since Start of Economic Recovery

Advertising Agency Revenues Up at Annual Rate of 7% Since Start of Economic Recovery

The latest data from the Commerce Department's Quarterly Service Survey shows that advertising agency revenues have climbed at the rate of 7% per year since the recovery began after June 2009. The rate of growth exceeds real GDP growth which has been +2.2% on an annual basis since that time. How did they do it? A strong emphasis on digital media strategy and production that's replaced their loss of commissions and fees for broadcast and print advertising. Publishers revenues have not come close to even that lackluster GDP rate. The steep decline for magazines and books is over, for now: they are not growing and the decline in revenues is mild. Newspapers, however, are still in long term decline. Newspaper revenues are about half of what the were in 2004. 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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