May Printing Shipments Up from April, Closing in on 2017 Levels

Earlier this week, printing shipments data for May were released, and came in at $6.77 billion for the month, up +3.1% from April. However, on an inflation-adjusted basis, May 2018 came in below the $6.92 billion reported in May 2017 and is well below the recent high of $7.46 billion back in May 2016. Still, 2018 started out rough but appears to be closing in on last year. As we have started seeing in recent years, traditional seasonality is in disarray and March and May have become the biggest months for the industry in the first half of the year. Recent patterns indicate that August and October are the two biggest months in the back half of the year—and we’ll see if that pattern continues. And June and July will be a white-knuckle ride…

On a year-to-date (January to May) basis, thus far 2018 comes in at $32.07 billion in current dollars, $32.30 adjusted for inflation. By way of comparison, in 2017, January-to-May shipments came in at $32.30 (current dollars) or $33.32 (inflation-adjusted).

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