Highlights from Graph Expo, PrintForecast Quarterly Survey and more
Graph Expo. . .Nice to Be Upbeat and Mean It
The recent uptick in print sales the last few months (compared to last year) appears to have affected the demeanor of printers and vendors. This was the most positive national show our industry has had in a few years. Comments we received from vendors were that intent to buy was tangible and not just information-gathering. Let’s hope it continues.
PrintForecast Quarterly Survey Shows Surge in Volume Among Mid-Size Printers
The soon-to-be published PrintForecast Quarterly Survey shows that there are many commercial printers claiming that sales are up more than 10% compared to last year:
20% of printers with 1-9 employees
27% of printers with 10-19 employees
18% of printers with 20-49 employees
19% of printers with 50-99 employees
17% of printers with 100+ employees
The 10-19 employees size group (roughly $1 to $2.5 million in annual sales) might be a surprise to some, but this is the group that has benefitted the most from consolidation of small printers and has implemented a wide range of digital printing capabilities. In fact, 25% of printers of this size claim that their capital investment plans are up more than 10% as well. They are also less affected by inroads made by office superstores.
Weary of Depressing Economic Data?
Dr. Joe Webb, known by some by the nickname “Dr. Doom” summarized neglected or under-reported good U.S. economic news at the beginning of his Tuesday presentation:
• GDP has been positive for 19 quarters, averaging +3%
• ISM manufacturing index has been positive for 53 months
• ISM non-manufacturing index has been positive for 55 months
• The U.S. has its largest employed workforce in history: 144.8 million, +2.4 million since last year at this time
• Last month, +271,000 new jobs in the Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey, the same survey use to calculate the unemployment rate.
• The BLS corrects itself: they noted that they had been undercounting employment by +810,000 jobs (this was on a page 5 footnote of their last report; no one in the business media read footnotes, it seems)
• We’re averaging +78,000 net new businesses per month, which is more than 900,000 net new businesses a year
• Household wealth is now $53 trillion, +7% since last year (current dollars)
• Personal income is up +8.6% since last year at this time
• Corporate profits are up +18% since last year at this time
• Higher incomes mean that tax collections are up; corporate taxes are up +27%, and individual tax collections are up +13%
• Exports are up +8%, and are often increasing at rates higher than imports
• Conference Board consumer confidence index is now at 104 vs. 87 compared to last year at this time