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Industry Data

This section focuses on analyzing the structural change of the industry. As a service to the printing and publishing industries, WhatTheyThink provides access to economic, industry trends and other data that is valuable to industry executives for strategic planning and research purposes.

 

Printing Forecast 2018

The Forecast 2018 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2018. Purchase Report | Read Executive Summary

Industry Snapshot

A collection of regularly updated industry data about various measures of business activity. Continuously updated.

 

Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments

US commercial printing shipments is based on the US Department of Commerce manufacturing shipments data for NAICS 323. Updated monthly

Data Analysis

 

Book Printers—2010–2016

Book Printers—2010–2016

Published: September 14, 2018

In 2010, there were 6,536 book printing establishments. In the ensuing six years, the establishment count would drop -21%. So says our Commercial Printing Establishments tracker.

 

Words of the Profits

Words of the Profits

Published: September 7, 2018

Looking at the most recent industry profits data that came out earlier this week, we continue to tell the “tale of two cities.” Low profitability of large printers is dragging down average industry profitability. For the industry as a whole, cracking—or re-cracking—$4 billion in profits is proving to be an elusive goal.

 

Mid-Size Establishments—2010–2016

Mid-Size Establishments—2010–2016

Published: August 31, 2018

In 2010, there were 6,725 10–19-employee commercial printing establishments. Among this demographic category, there was the most precipitous drop from 2010 to 2011—the fallout from the Great Recession which started to take its toll after 2009. By 2012, the bleeding had been largely stanched, and the year-to-year declines were more modest. So says our recently launched Commercial Printing Establishments tracker.

 

Canadian Printing Shipments

Canadian Printing Shipments

Published: August 24, 2018

Looking at the 12-month moving average of Canada’s printing shipments, it may look like Canada’s printing industry has been holding steady, but the inflation-adjusted figures show a slight decline from a recent peak at the end of 2013.

 

Consolidation Among Large Print Businesses: 2010–2016

Consolidation Among Large Print Businesses: 2010–2016

Published: August 17, 2018

In 2010, there were 2,124 establishments having 50 or more employees. By 2016, they had dropped to 1,851 (down -13%). So says our new Commercial Printing Establishments tracker, based on data from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns, which presents—in spreadsheet form—U.S. commercial printing establishments from 2010 to 2016, broken down by six different print business classifications and nine employee-size breakdowns.

 

Printing Shipments Head Into the Dog Days of Summer

Printing Shipments Head Into the Dog Days of Summer

Published: August 10, 2018

The inflation-adjusted value of printing shipments for June 2018 were down from $6.9 billion in May to $6.5 billion in June. On the plus side, it’s not appreciably below the $6.6 billion reported in June 2017.

 

WhatTheyThink Launches New Industry Establishment Data Series

WhatTheyThink Launches New Industry Establishment Data Series

Published: August 3, 2018

Our new Commercial Printing Establishments tracker, based on data from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns, presents—in spreadsheet form—U.S. commercial printing establishments from 2010 to 2016, broken down by six different print business classifications and nine employee-size breakdowns.

 

June Printing Employment Down Y/Y

June Printing Employment Down Y/Y

Published: July 27, 2018

Overall, printing employment ticked up from May to June 2018, but on a year-over-year basis is down -1.8% from June 2017. Among the creative markets, PR is the place to be.

 

May Printing Shipments Up from April, Closing in on 2017 Levels

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

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.

 

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