According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 500 establishments in NAICS 323117 (book printing establishments). This represents a decrease of -6.7% since the beginning of the decade. In other data news, the BEA released GDP growth for the first quarter of 2020. Click through, if you dare.
In 2010, there were 536 book printing establishments in the United States (NAICS 323117), a number that had declined to 500 (-6.7%) in 2017, despite a brief surge in 2013. Book printers are also up from 2016. Flowing into this business category reflects the old history of consolidation as well as the results of store diversification and specialization. Today’s equipment (inkjet production in particular) can produce a variety of printing products, so stores no longer have to stick to a particular niche like they did before . Thus, a number of “book printers” may not see themselves as mere book printers, and therefore are classified as general commercial printers or some other business classification that better describes the business. It goes the other way as well: Books have remained an ever popular print product, and as book production shifts to digital on-demand variety, this can be a significant niche to tap on its own. Books also lend themselves to more dedicated workflows (highly integrated text printing, cover printing, binding, shipping), so it often makes sense to focus production only on books, especially if the volume is there.
In 2018, we began highlighting data from our commercial printing establishments, which complements and complements our regular tracking of printing industry shipments and other industry data. These figures are based on Census Bureau data County Business Models. Throughout this year we will update these datasets with the latest CBPThe figures. County Business Models also includes other data, such as number of employees, payroll, etc. These figures are broken down according to the classification of commercial printing companies (based on NAICS, the North American Industry Classification System):
- 323 (Printing and related support activities)
- 32311 (Print)
- 323111 (Commercial printing, except screen printing and books)
- 323113 (Commercial screen printing)
- 323117 (Book printing)
- 32312 (Support activities for printing, i.e. prepress and postpress services)
This data, and overall year-over-year trends, like other demographics, can be used not only for business planning and forecasting, but also for the allocation of sales and marketing resources.
Every two weeks, we’ll break down this settlement data in different ways. Over time we will add additional data from County Business Models, such as number of employees, payroll and similar information for additional business classification relevant to the graphic communications industry.
This macro moment
In other data news on Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released GDP growth for the first quarter of 2020. It was predicted to be between -4% and 5%, and sho ” nuff, it stood at -4.8%. . But it begs the question of why it was that bad. Of course, March lasted 5,000 years, but business closures related to COVID-19 didn’t start until mid-March, just two or three weeks before the end of the first quarter. Sure, those two or three weeks wreaked havoc on the economy, but enough to bring down the entire quarter? Or did issues in the global supply chain (like those in China and other countries affected early on) cause problems as early as late January or February? Or maybe the US economy was heading into recession anyway?
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis via FRED
It’s a bewilderment, but as bad as the first trimester is, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait for the Q2 data to come out. Start drinking now.