May Printing Shipments Up from April, Closing in on 2017 Levels
Published: July 13, 2018
Printing shipments for May 2018 came in at $6.77 billion, up +3.1% from April. However, on an inflation-adjusted basis, May 2018 came in below the $6.92 billion reported in May 2017, and is well below the recent high of $7.46 billion back in May 2016.
Big Printers' Writedowns and Interest Payments Are a Big Drag on Printing Industry Profits
Published: June 22, 2018
Writedowns in the first quarter of 2018 for commercial printers with $25 million or more in assets were $157 million, or 1.9% of sales. The assets may be written down, but the borrowing that was created to finance them remains. Interest expense was 4.8% of sales. For the quarter, losses were -1.47% of sales. That rate of loss made average profits before taxes for the industry a mediocre 3% of sales—which means that printers with less than $25 million in assets must have done well.
Full-Time Employment, Sets New Record, Up +904,000, But Does It Really Feel that Good?
Published: June 8, 2018
The May employment report was regarded as good, but when you dig past the top-level numbers, it was better than it looked. However, while the 3.8% unemployment rate looks good on the surface, it really can’t be compared to when it was last attained nearly 20 years ago. So many workers left the workforce that this figure implies a tighter labor than it really is. We will really know we have a strong economy when the active labor force starts increasing.
Consumer Durable Goods Orders Moving at Almost 2X GDP Rate
Published: May 18, 2018
Durable goods orders for consumers (less transportation) are growing at a rate almost two times faster than Real GDP. This data series remains -14% below where it was at the start of the recession in December 2017, and is a critical one to monitor for indications of an improved economy.
Q1-2018 Rises +2.3%, Slower Rate than Q4-2017
Published: May 11, 2018
The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ advance report estimated that Q1-2018 real gross domestic product was up at an annual rate of +2.3%, which was slower than the +2.9% for Q4-2017. Because companies and individuals, especially corporations, shifted expenses into 2017 and delayed revenue recognition to 2018 to take advantage of the rates in the new tax law, many key economic data series—such as this one—will be subject to larger than usual revision.
Federal Reserve Updates Industrial Production Data Series
Published: April 13, 2018
The Federal Reserve revised 2015–2017 industrial production down from its original reports, meaning that industrial production peaked in 2014 and then slowed. The initial data made things seem better than what consumers and employees were actually experiencing.
Q4-2017 GDP Revisions Stronger than Earlier Reports
Published: April 6, 2018
Q4-2017 GDP estimates were raised to +2.9% from the original estimate of +2.5%. (But beware inventories.) At the same time, shenanigans resulting from the latest tax bill are blurring statistics visibility, especially where corporate profits are concerned.
US Commercial Printing Capital Expenditures
Published: March 9, 2018
The capital expenditures of commercial printers fell in 2016, but the investment in less expensive used equipment may have been a major factor.
Canada’s Commercial Printing Shipments 1992-2017
Published: March 2, 2018
Canada’s printing industry has been holding steady compared to the US, despite being subject to the same competition from digital media
Print Business Outlook Survey: Areas of interest in new print-related applications
Published: February 28, 2018
WhatTheyThink surveyed printing business owners and executives: "What are your areas of interest in new print-related applications."
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