The reversal in trend for US commercial printing shipments went from somewhat benign to significant in July's data.

Last year, the industry was relatively stronger than 2014, but shipments have been on a downturn for the last four months of reporting.

Current dollar shipments for July fell by -5.3% compared to 2015, down -6.0% after inflation. In inflation-adjusted terms, this was the slowest July since the beginning of this data series in 1992. Shipments were $6.53 billion, down -$369 million from last year. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were down -$428 million.

Many printing businesses close down in July for maintenance and vacations, but that is unlikely to be the cause for the steepness of the decline because these shutdowns occur every year. There are other data that indicate a continuing shift, perhaps intensifying again, to digital media communications, especially in this political season.

There will be further discussion about this in next week's "Mondays with Dr. Joe."