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NAPL: Rising Confidence Lifts Printing Business Index

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., June 30, 2003 – Printer confidence was up in May, according to the latest economic indicators from the Printing Business Panel of the National Association for Printing Leadership. In the highest reading since January, 30.3% of the printers surveyed by NAPL said they expect business to improve during the six months ahead. Just 13.0% expect business to decline, the lowest reading since last December. The economic analysis comes from NAPL's Printing Economic Research Center (PERC), which produces research and publications sponsored by Heidelberg, Kennesaw, Ga. Rising confidence helped lift the NAPL Printing Business Index‘ (PBI‘), the Association’s broadest measure of print activity, to 46.1 in May, from 45.1 in April. That is the index’s second consecutive increase, following six consecutive declines. In September 2002, the index hit a two-year high of 54.1, but fell to a 15-month low in March 2003. (Readings above 50.0 mean more printers report activity is picking up than report activity is slowing down; readings below 50.0 mean the opposite.) "The PBI will be staying below the critical 50.0 mark until the expectation that business will be improving turns into reality sometime after midyear," said Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. "There’s no sign of that upturn yet." Sales fell 1.3% in April (the latest available data) for the NAPL Printing Business Panel, the fourth consecutive decline. Year-to-date (Jan. 1-Apr. 30), sales are down 1.7%. "This year’s losses reverse the modest gains of late 2002, when sales grew 1.0% from September through December," says Paparozzi. "The good news is that declines have moderated since January of this year, when sales fell 3.7%. And, despite a quarter disrupted by war, we’re still well ahead of last year, when sales fell 6.3% through April and 10.5% in March alone."




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