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February 2011 U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +4.4%, Eleven Months of Y-O-Y Increases

Press release from the issuing company

April 4, 2011 - 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 #65.” This report is free to Premium Members of WhatTheyThink.

This report is available for immediate purchase for others at:

February 2011 commercial printing shipments were $6.6 billion, up $280 million (+4.4%) compared to 2010. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +2.2%. “January's shipments were also revised higher by $59 million compared to initial reports,” explained Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center. “January and February shipments benefited from easy comparisons to very bad months in 2010. We have to be realistic about the rest of the year because of that, and expect 2011 to be about even with the remaining 10 months of 2010. But we do hope that the positive comparisons continue.”

Dr. Webb stated that the seasonality of the industry had changed in recent years and that March's performance is likely to be critical in understanding the forecasts for the rest of the year. He said “Commercial printing employment increased slightly from February to March, which is a sign that shipments increased as expected. We're anxious to see the extent of that increase.”

Dr. Webb emphasized that this period of improved shipments should be considered as breathing room to get ready for some significant changes in communications technologies. “Business owners need to carefully reorganize their operations for the continuing pressures of tablet PCs, smartphones, social media, and the ingrained habits of instantly accessible information and media. The pressures for consolidation in the printing industry will persist, and it's important that businesses that do combine do so in a proactive way that creates new product offerings for the increased preference and reliance for digital media.”

The latest report includes a discussion of February's shipments, Canada's January shipments, and updated forecasts for the North American printing industry to 2017.

The Monthly Printing Shipments Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments, and forecasts for 2011 through 2017. 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.


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