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July 2009 U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Down $858 million; USPS "Summer Sale" Effect Minimal So Far

Press release from the issuing company

Lexington, KY - WhatTheyThink, the leading online media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, today announced the availability of their most current report titled “North American Monthly Printing Shipments, Issue #46.” This report is available for immediate purchase at:


“July commercial printing shipments were $7.0 billion, down -10.9% compared to June of last year. July is typically the slowest month of the year as many printers shut down for a week or two of summer vacation and for plant maintenance,” said Dr. Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. “Nonetheless, this continues print's difficult year, as this was the lowest July since 1994, on a current dollar basis.”

Last month, Dr. Webb noted that some mailers may have shifted their printing and mailing into July. “So far, the USPS 'Summer Sale' seems to have had no effect on total printing volume. It will not be known for a few months what the full effect, if any, of the initiative will be. Unfortunately, it's targeted only to big mailers, many of whom have made considerable shifts to digital media, and does not stimulate the activity of first-time and casual users of print promotions.”

This report discusses recent research conducted by WhatTheyThink showing the importance of “ancillary services,” the additional activities that diversify printing business streams. Dr. Webb stated “The industry has always had non-print services, and in the 1970s, they were actually higher as a percentage of revenue than they are today. This recession is a prime opportunity to become an outsource partner to many companies because of the print business' natural understanding of workflow and logistics. As the economy improves, many companies will be reluctant to add staff and would prefer to use outsourced services they can depend on.”

The North American Monthly Printing Shipments Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments, and forecasts for 2009 through 2014. It is comprised of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, and an MP3 file of audio commentary from Dr. Webb. The cost of the report is $50.00. Those purchasing the it can easily repurpose the charts and data in presentations, and reports.

The report includes the updated forecasts for 2009 through 2014 for the U.S. and Canadian commercial printing industries.

The report contains significant and proprietary analysis and by Dr. Webb and WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. It is a top-level analysis of the U.S. commercial printing and trade services markets such as commercial offset, digital, and other printing processes, as well as prepress and postpress contained in the standard business classification NAICS 323.


WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center contains a blend of free and premium content for graphic arts and publishing executives. It offers an online library of primary research reports, executive summaries of economic trends, and related industry columns, videos, podcasts and webinars.

The Economics and Research Center is exclusively sponsored by MindFireInc, a provider of software technologies that leverage direct marketing and the Internet.

About WhatTheyThink

WhatTheyThink is the printing and publishing industry's leading media organization; offering a wide range of publications delivering unbiased, real-time market intelligence, industry news, economic and trend analysis, peer-to-peer communication, and special reports on emerging technology and critical events. WhatTheyThink also hosts webinars and live events that are timely and relevant o today's busy industry executives along with consulting and speaker services that leverage a talented pool of writers and industry analysts.

WhatTheyThink consists of flagship site WhatTheyThink.com, discussion forum site PrintPlanet.com, and industry blog PrintCEO.com.

About MindFireInc

Since 1999, MindFireInc has provided innovative applications and services that help marketers synchronize their direct mail campaigns with the Internet. MindFireInc's flagship product, LookWho'sClicking, is a web-based application suite that links the impact and power of direct mail with the interactive capabilities of the Internet. MindFireInc offers its product through a network of Value Added Resellers (VARs). The company's web site is www.mindfireinc.com.