Monday, March 06, 2006


January Printing Shipments -3.96%, -7.5% in Real Terms

January typically represents 8% of U.S. printing industry shipments for the year. In current dollars, January's shipments were $6.878 billion, down -$279 million in current terms, -$564 million in real terms.

December shipments were revised by +$7 million, which made the revised total for 2005 $88.36 billion, or $89.715 billion in inflation-adjusted terms (we adjust data monthly based on the latest CPI). Assuming that January is typical of the year, in current terms, 2006 will be $87B, or down -$1.3B from last year.

In inflation-adjusted terms, it looks more like $85.4B, or down -$4.3B. I'm sticking with my back-of-the-envelope down -$5B in real terms for 2006 compared to 2005, which would be down in percentage terms

Because of the change in the industry's seasonality, March is likely to be printing's biggest month. It is probably going to be the bellwether month that will give a better indication of the rest of the year. We won't have March shipments data until early May. February data will be released on March 31.

I have charts and graphs available as a "Data-to-Go" at
"Data-to-Go" has a short Powerpoint presentation for easy cut and paste into reports and elsewhere, a PDF, Excel file of the raw data, and a MP3 file of my commentary.

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