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WhatTheyThink

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 Outlook 2021
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Printing Outlook 2023 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The new Printing Outlook 2023 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2023 and beyond.

Purchase Report

Industry Snapshot Table Image
Printing Industry Snapshot

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

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Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments Table Image
US Commercial Printing Shipments

US commercial printing shipments. Updated monthly.

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Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments Table Image
US Commercial Printing Establishments

The number of establishments in the US organized by NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System). Updated annually.

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Data Analysis
Graphic Arts Employment Flat or Declining in December
Graphic Arts Employment Flat or Declining in December

Overall printing employment was essentially flat in December 2022, being down -0.1% from November, and essentially unchanged from December 2021. Production employment was up +0.4%  while non-production employment was down -1.1% from November. Full Analysis

Greeting Card Publishing Establishments—2010–2020
Greeting Card Publishing Establishments—2010–2020

According to County Business Patterns, in 2020 there were 107 establishments in NAICS 511191 (Greeting Card Publishing). Although this represents a net increase of 4% since 2010, it has been a category that has ebbed and flowed over the course of the decade, although we’re not talking about a tremendous number of establishments. In macro news, real GDP increased 2.9% annualized in Q4. Full Analysis

Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—France
Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—France

This bi-weekly series of short articles aims at shedding a spotlight on the size of the printing industry in Europe per country and how revenues and employment developed in 2020, when the pandemic impacted the businesses. This time we look at France, the fourth-largest printing industry by turnover in Europe. Full Analysis

November 2022 Shipments Drop—But That’s Normal!
November 2022 Shipments Drop—But That’s Normal!

November 2022 shipments came in at $7.16 billion, down from the year’s high of $7.48 billion in October. This should not be cause for concern, as business always drops in November and December as things slow down for the holidays. Full Analysis

Other Publishing Establishments—2010–2020
Other Publishing Establishments—2010–2020

According to County Business Patterns, in 2020 there were 664 establishments in NAICS 51119 (Other Publishing). This represents a decrease of 35% since 2010. In macro news, what’s behind the employee shortages? Full Analysis

Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—Italy
Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—Italy

This bi-weekly series of short articles aims at shedding a spotlight on the size of the printing industry in Europe per country and how revenues and employment developed in 2020, when the pandemic hit the market. This time we look at Italy, the third-largest printing industry by turnover in Europe. Full Analysis

Graphic Arts Employment Essentially Flat in November
Graphic Arts Employment Essentially Flat in November

In November 2022, all printing employment was up +0.1% from October. Production employment was up +0.7% and non-production employment was down -1.2%. Full Analysis

Have a Little Holiday Cheer/October Shipments the Highest All Year
Have a Little Holiday Cheer/October Shipments the Highest All Year

October 2022 shipments came in at $7.48 billion, up from September’s $7.32 billion—the best month of the year for the industry.   Full Analysis

Directory and Mailing List Publishing Establishments—2010–2020
Directory and Mailing List Publishing Establishments—2010–2020

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2020 there were 594 establishments in NAICS 51114 (Directory and Mailing List Publishers). This represents a decrease of 64% since 2010. In macro news, estimates for Q4 GDP are in the +1.4%–3.4% range. Full Analysis

Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—Germany
Turnover and Employment in Print in Europe—Germany

This bi-weekly series of short articles aims at shedding a spotlight on the size of the printing industry in Europe per country and how revenues and employment developed in 2020, when the pandemic hit the market. Kicking off the series is Germany, the largest printing industry by turnover in Europe. Full Analysis