Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reprographers: take a look at Dr. Joe Webb’s Forecast for the US Commercial Market

Dr. Joe Webb is the premier economist following and reporting on the U.S. Commercial Printing Market. He’s associated with the web-site known as “”.

Although, market-wise, “printing” is different than “reprographics” there are, of course, similarities between the two industries.

In his very detailed article, which is now up on, Dr. Joe talks about the economic forecast for the U.S. Commercial Printing Market; there are several charts/graphics and there’s even a slide-show.

One of the paragraphs in the article that I liked best was this one:

“Overly relying on economic data is like driving while only looking at the rear view mirror. It has its place as a management tool, but it’s not the way to run a business. Just like your car, if you are not paying attention to what’s coming at you from the front, the outcome is likely to be a nasty crash.”

Here’s the Title of Dr. Joe’s Article:

A Contrarian Perspective About Economic Forecasts

By Dr. Joe Webb on February 15th, 2012

Here’s one of the main paragraphs in the article:

The Updated US Commercial Printing Forecast, 2012-2018

The updated forecast table is in our online commercial printing data spreadsheet. With all of the comments about the use of forecasted data stated above, it is important to note some methodological details about the creation of this chart. I apologize for the boring nature of the details, but they are important. First, all data are in January 2012 dollars. The first two columns, “conservative” and “aggressive” are forecasts we run through our forecasting software every month as new monthly printing shipments data are released by the Department of Commerce. We take those current dollar data, inflation-adjust them using the Consumer Price Index for the entire history for each month (the data series goes back to 1992) and then forecast 12-month moving totals of the value of industry shipments. We use 12-month totals so we are always forecasting the value for a full year; this smooths the data and reduces overall statistical forecasting error. For a discussion of the issues involved in inflation-adjusted data, we strongly recommend our slide show about the topic (and that perhaps you bring a pillow; it’s had over 750 views, and we suspect that some might be from an insomnia study at some medical school).

Reprographers, I urge you to take the time to read the full article; you should be able to access the article by clicking on the link immediately below:

A Contrarian Word about Economic Data and Forecasts; The US Commercial Printing Forecast 2012-2018

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