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May U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +3.6% Versus 2009; April Shipments Revised Up

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 #56.” This report is now a new benefit for Premium Members of WhatTheyThink. Download Print Shipments Report

This report is available for immediate purchase for others at:


May 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.3 billion, up +3.6% compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +1.6%. April shipments were revised up by +$300 million, giving the industry a net gain in shipments for two consecutive months for the first time since January and February 2008. “This is the first gain in shipments on an inflation-adjusted basis since October and November of 2007,” explained Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.

For the first five months of 2010, shipments are down -2.4% on a current dollar basis and -4.4% on an inflation-adjusted basis. Dr. Webb said that “2009 was a dreadful year, but our models indicate that the industry's sales levels for the rest of the year are likely to be flat with last year. We are still well below the 2008 levels by about $1 billion in shipments per month, but we may finally have some breathing room as more printers are reporting increases in sales and more also have positive bottom lines.” Dr. Webb stated that the industry as lost many of its weaker firms, and better-run companies have been picking up what remained of their sales.

The latest report includes a discussion of May's shipments, Canada's April shipments, and updated forecasts for the US industry to 2016. Dr. Webb's audio commentary also includes a discussion about how employment trends have affected the industry's recent profitability. “Since this report is now free to our Premium Members, some background about our methodologies and the rationale of inflation adjustment is in order,” explained Dr. Webb.

The North American Monthly Printing Shipments Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments, for the U.S. and Canada, and forecasts for 2009 through 2016. Forecasts are updated every month, and changes are discussed in the report, which 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 report can easily repurpose the charts and data in presentations, webinars, and other reports.

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.


About WhatTheyThink

WhatTheyThink is the printing and publishing industry's leading online 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. Serving a membership base of more than 50,000, WhatTheyThink also hosts webinars and live events as well as providing content through a syndication program, which delivers content directly to related websites and through RSS. The organization also provides consulting and speakers bureau services to the industry.