Wednesday, January 04, 2006


November 2005 Shipments -6%... Worst Showing of the Year

November 2005 printing shipments were down by -6% compared to November 2004. This is the steepest monthly decline over the past year, rivaled by the -5.8% decrease of July. Since June, the average monthly decline has been -5.2%. Historically, September through November is the strongest combination of months for commercial printing volume, and these were down
-5.4%. 2005 looks like it will be -3.3% overall, but on an inflation-adjusted basis, it's -6.0% compared to 2004 and -9.7% compared to 2003. I was recently chatting with someone about comparisons with GDP, and the GDP growth of around +3.5% to +3.8%. That's real growth, however; in current dollars GDP is up +6.0 to +6.5%. So the difference in economic growth is actually GDP +6.0% compared to -3.3% for printing, or a 9.3 percentage point spread. I know people like to call me "Dr. Doom" (and then whisper to me that they know I'm right but they're afraid to say that to their bosses), but I'm just saying what the data plainly say for themselves.

There's more detail in the latest Data-to-Go release, just posted on the e-store.

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