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Dr. Joe Webb Economic Update on WhatTheyThink Highlights Key Trends for the Future of Print

Friday, July 01, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

Printing Shipments Still Sliding Slowly; Challenges Still Ahead July 1, 2005 -- Lexington , KY. -- In an exclusive WhatTheyThink economic Webinar sponsored by Creo and presented by renowned printing industry speaker and author Dr. Joe Webb, Dr. Webb reported that printing shipments, in real, inflation-adjusted terms will be down about one percent for 2005 as compared to 2004, but that printing profits are under even greater pressure. June 29, 2005 -- In a free Webinar hosted by WhatTheyThink.com, the printing industry’s leading source of news and information, Dr. Joe Webb, one of the industry's best-known consultants and a 27-year veteran of the graphic arts industries, shared his insight on the state of the industry as the 3rd Quarter of 2005 commences. Nearly 30 senior printing executives from around the world registered for this event, which was sponsored by Creo, a Kodak subsidiary. While most of the attendees were from North America , viewers also tuned in from Spain , Peru , Hong Kong , Australia , England and Germany . The audio of the Webinar and PDF of the presentation are available online: http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinar050629.cfm “In real terms, print shipments will be down by about 1% for 2005,” said Dr. Webb. “In the last webinar I said ‘theindustry is finally at its bottom, and that major losses are probably over for next two years.’ I should have said ‘the precipitous decline is over, but we’re still slowly sliding.’ I am still concerned about the impact we will see in 2007 when broadband reaches its anticipated top penetration rate in the U.S. ” Dr. Webb also debunked the myth that the price of oil is a key determining factor in today’s economy, pointing out that consumers still continue to buy and demand continue to increase. Additionally, according to Dr. Joe, with all things being considered, oil would need to reach $150 per barrel on an inflation- and productivity-adjusted basis to equal the high costs experienced in the 1970s that were caused by shortages and embargoes. “These high prices do, however, cause CEO skittishness and discretionary spending will remain tight; they did not plan for these prices, so they have to adjust for them,” Dr. Webb said. “Nonetheless, we are still ‘trapped’ in a period of above average growth, which is far better than most people, especially the business press, realize.” “One of the difficulties we have in measuring the performance of the economy is the fact that government statisticians are still using metrics that are not as relevant to our world today,” continued Dr. Webb. “Both the household survey and the growth of net new businesses indicates that we are in a healthy economy that is largely being driven by small businesses. Government statisticians place an undue emphasis on the payroll survey which is no longer as representative of what is happening in the job market as it once was.” Dr. Webb pointed out that Print 05, the industry’s big trade show, is right around the corner, and that the industry is just about at the same place from a print business perspective as it was for Print 01, the last time the show took place. He added, “But things are quite different now. In 2001, the industry was declining, and the economy was sluggish; the Internet’s effect on the print business was poorly understood. Going into Print 05, the economy is growing, the Internet is no longer mysterious, and the print business’ precipitous decline is a memory. There is good potential that this show could be an upside surprise, reflecting a turning tide on capital expenditures in our industry.” The presentation, including audio, can be accessed at no charge by visiting: http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinar050629.cfm Dr. Webb will be presenting his next quarterly update on September 28th, hosted by WhatTheyThink.com and sponsored by Creo, a Kodak subsidiary. He also provides commentary in his weekly WhatTheyThink columns, available to Premium Access members. About Creo Creo, a subsidiary of Kodak since June 15, 2005 , has key strengths in imaging, software, and digital printing plate technology. The leading provider of graphic communications solutions worldwide, the Kodak Graphic Communications Group (GCG) offers image capture systems; professional color, copydot, and high-speed document scanning systems; inkjet printing and proofing systems; workflow and color management software; thermal imaging devices for film, plates, and proofs; high-quality proofing media, printing plates, and recording film; on-demand color and black-and-white printing systems; data storage products; and professional services. The GCG unites the rich technological heritage of five companies: Kodak Polychrome Graphics, NexPress, Kodak Versamark, Encad, and Creo. About WhatTheyThink.com WhatTheyThink.com is the print and publishing industry's leading online community. The company offers a mixture of free and subscription-based content for industry executives. Additionally, WhatTheyThink.com provides a robust content syndication program serving related web sites. About Dr. Joe Webb Industry commentator and forecaster Dr. Joe Webb is a 26+ year veteran of the graphic arts industry. He has served the industry as a consultant, executive, and the founder of the TrendWatch surveys. His academic background is a combination of business, computer technologies, and graphic arts. His doctoral work was completed at the NYU Center for Graphic Arts Management and Technology. Dr. Webb has worked with industry suppliers of all types, including those marketing capital equipment such as presses, software developers, computer and peripheral manufacturers and developers, national and multinational organizations, associations, and others. A frequent speaker at industry events, Dr. Webb's weekly column “Fridays with Dr. Joe” appears at www.WhatTheyThink.com where it has become a must-read feature for the entire printing industry. (Photos of Dr. Webb for editorial purposes can be downloaded at www.drjoewebb.com/press) Dr. Webb is the author of “Renewing the Print Industry: A Contrarian’s Constructive Perspective.” A sample of that report can be downloaded from http://www.prweb.com/prfiles/2004/06/03/131251/ptg_shipments_060304.gif




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