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August U.S. commercial printing shipments up +3.3%; five consecutive months of growth versus 2009

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 #59.” This report is free to Premium Members of WhatTheyThink.

This report is available for immediate purchase for others at:

August 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.3 billion, up $235 million (+3.3%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +2.2. “This continues the consecutive gain in current dollar shipments for five months, a welcome change for commercial printers,” explained Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.

“Our industry is still in the midst of a significant media transition, but printers are adapting to the market by consolidating with other printers, offering new products, and other actions.” Dr. Webb advised caution. “It is too early to tell if this is an effect of the upcoming elections. Since many of the new candidates did not have support of their national parties, they may have used print and new media because broadcast and cable may have been too expensive for them. We won't have data for a few months to determine if that was the case, but it is a plausible idea.”

Dr. Webb explained that one way to tell if it's an election effect is if the sales increases stop after the election. “If the sales continue to be favorable after the election, then we can say that the industry is experiencing a change in sales levels because of other factors,” he said. Dr. Webb believes that holiday retail season will still have emphasis on new media, and print business owners must increase their efforts to address the creation and management of those media, into their product offerings. “If these recent trends continue, the US commercial printing industry may finish about $1-2 billion ahead of last year. That would be welcome news.”

The latest report includes a discussion of August's shipments, Canada's July 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.

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.