June 2008 U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Decrease
Lexington, Kentucky-based WhatTheyThink—an online media organization serving the printing and publishing industry—announced the availability of its most current report titled: “Monthly U.S. Printing Shipments, Issue #33.” It is authored by Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink’s economics and research center.
“June printing shipments were $8.16 billion, down $218 million (or 2.6 percent) compared to June 2007,” said Webb. “On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down $638 million (or 7.3 percent) compared to June 2007.”
Data collected within the past few months indicated it has been a particularly difficult time for the industry. “Even though the recent GDP estimates for the second quarter were positive, corporations are squeezing discretionary spending to cope with rising costs and a worsening inflation outlook,” Webb continued. “Our report indicates that the number of people in graphic design and advertising production were down significantly in June. This is important, because many print campaigns for the fall and holiday shopping seasons are developed in the summer. For this reason, we have decreased our forecasts for the rest of the year, and updated our forecasts through 2013.”
Webb also noted media shifts over the past years are evident in the employment data. “The only content creation sector that has had an increase in employment is public relations. It’s an affirmation of the strength of the Internet and its ability to reach audiences through search engines and other new formats,” he said. “It’s essential [for] printers [to] tap into this trend with efforts that make public relations promotions, events and sponsorships more effective with their target audiences.”
The “Monthly U.S. Printing Shipments” report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analyses of commercial printing and print services shipments, and forecasts of 2008 through 2013. It consists of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, and features an MP3 file of audio commentary from Webb.