Market Watch

Market Watch


WhatTheyThink Issues Report on First Quarter 2009 Commercial Printing Businesses

WhatTheyThink, a media organization serving the printing and publishing industry, has released “U.S. Commercial Printing Profits, 1995 to Q1-2009.”

Authored by Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink’s Economics and Research Center, the report is available for immediate purchase at the WhatTheyThink Store.

The first quarter of 2009 was “less worse” than the fourth quarter of 2008, which was labeled “a profits disaster” at that time by Dr. Webb. “It was a quarter the industry would love to forget,” said Dr. Webb.

The report noted that the first quarter 2009 losses of U.S. commercial printing businesses reached nearly a half billion dollars.

The depth of the printing downturn has been reflected in its employment.

“About one in eight print workers has been idled as printers look to sidestep the sales and profits downdraft,” said Dr. Webb. “It’s not just the recession. Print has had eight consecutive quarters of decline, and some of its prime customers, banks and financial institutions, are not likely to return to their pre-crisis budget levels soon.

“Even then, digital media alternatives are expanding their share of those budgets,” Dr. Webb added.

In the report, Dr. Webb analyzes the latest printing industry employment data and capacity data, and where they’re likely to be headed for the next six months and in 2010.

The Printing Profits Report contains both current and inflation-adjusted analysis of commercial printing and print services shipments and profits from 1995 to the first quarter of 2009.

The bonus audio file includes Dr. Webb’s frank analysis, opinions and strategic outlook. Containing Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files, the cost of the report is $50 and features the audio commentary in MP3 format. Those purchasing the report can easily repurpose the charts and data for internal, client presentations, and reports.

The report contains analysis by Dr. Webb and WhatTheyThink’s Economics and Research Center. It is a top-level analysis of the U.S. commercial printing and trade services markets such as commercial offset, digital, and other printing processes, as well as prepress and postpress contained in the standard business classification NAICS 323. For additional information on the report, go to

FPA Releases 2009 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report

The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2009 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report is a key source of industry-based information for flexible packaging companies, purchasers of flexible packaging, industry investors and Wall Street. The report is available for download within the “Members Only” section of the FPA web site, Hard copies of the report are available to non-FPA members for $3,500.

The report includes industry-based information and data from FPA’s member-based State of the Industry Survey and non-member Industry Wide Converter Survey. The combined survey responses represent $15 billion of the total estimated $25.9 billion in flexible packaging industry sales.

Highlights of the report include:
•A comprehensive view of the U.S. flexible packaging industry with additional perspective on global packaging.
•Industry data regarding growth, material use, operation and flexible packaging industry M&A activity (2006-2008).
•Information in key end-use segments that comprise the flexible packaging industry by sales revenue and percentages.
•Figures on U.S. exports and imports (2008) and individual country trend data (199802008).
•An overview of issues and drivers revealed by both flexible packaging converters and suppliers.

For more information, contact Bob Zaborowski, director of FPA Business and Economic Research, at (410) 694-0800.