March 2013 US commercial printing shipments were down -$148 million (-2.2%) compared to 2012. The first quarter was down -$770 billion (-4%). On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$270 million (-5.4%) and down -$1.05 billion (-5.4%) for the quarter. It is important to note that there are many print businesses doing exceedingly well. These businesses are absorbing volume of closed competitors and participating in a consolidation process, often under the radar, where they secure the business volume of others through "tuck-ins." Other common situations for small printers are the mutual closure of businesses with a friendly competitor and the opening of a new entity. Aggregate industry data do not reflect the high level of churn and restructuring that is occurring in the industry. Next week, the Commerce Department will release their revisions of the last five years of data. Typically, the last three years have the greatest revisions, and the two years prior to that have minor revisions that change their monthly estimates but not their annual estimates. Upon the release of those data, we will prepare a comprehensive review of industry conditions and demographics, and update our forecast of the industry shipments and overall outlook. The chart below shows the annualized industry shipments on a current dollar and inflation-adjusted dollar basis. (click to enlarge). shipments-050614