September Printing Shipments Up +$198 Million; Five Months of Increased Shipments
We sent this edition of PrintForecast Perspective later in the day to allow us to report the latest Commerce Department data for commercial printing shipments for September. The most important quarter of the year for the printing industry is September, October, and November.
September printing shipments were up +$198 million compared to September 2005, an increase of +2.4%. This was the fifth month in a row of increased shipments. On an inflation-adjusted basis, it was the second consecutive month of real increase in shipments, up by +$36 million in inflation-adjusted dollars. August’s current dollar shipments were revised higher as well, by $5 million, making August’s rise $302 million, or +3.8%.
September is the first month of commercial printing’s most important quarter. The September-November period traditionally represents more than 26% of the industry’s shipments for the year.
For the year-to-date, current dollar shipments are up +0.4%, and real shipments are down -3.2%.
A large portion of the increase may be related to increased political spending, and may not be sustainable after the elections. Today’s Advertising Age reported that spending on campaigns is up more than +17% compared to 2004. Though the article focused on broadcast, all media have likely benefitted from hotly contested races. On an inflation-adjusted basis, the +17% increase is in the range of a +10% real increase compared to 2004, and may explain part of August’s strong rise in shipments.
Inplant Printing Departments Selling More of the Output into the Commercial Market
More than half of inplant printing departments have some sales to other businesses and individuals. Seventeen percent of these inplant printing departments reported that their sales of printed goods to others outside their host corporation or organization were up more than 10%, and 29% said it was up between 5-10%. Only 3% said that their outside sales were declining. In contrast, 25% said their purchases from commercial printers have increased. Answers varied, sometimes considerably, depending if the inplant department was in educational, finance, manufacturing, or other kinds of organizations. These data will be found in the soon-to-be released PrintForecast Quarterly Survey. Subscribers will receive complete, detailed data by business class, size of business, and other key segmentaion characteristics.