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

Monday, December 12, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

December 12, 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 with nearly 30 years in the graphic arts industry, shared his insight on the state of the industry as we approach 2006. Over 300 senior printing executives from around the world registered for this event, which was sponsored by Kodak. The audio of the Webinar and PDF of the presentation are available online at: http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinars/webinar051208.cfm "In real terms, print shipments will be down by between 4% and 5% for 2005 over last year even in the face of an otherwise strong economy," said Dr. Webb. "Direct mail still appears to be the strongest segment." Dr. Webb revised his GDP forecast upwards from the last quarterly webinar, predicting that GDP for the year will end in the 3.0% to 3.5% range, with unemployment staying close to 5%. "If the Fed continues to raise interest rates during the course of 2006," he warned, "it could cause a significant economic slowdown. While I think they have raised rates enough, the economy could probably withstand one or two more raises without significant negative impact." Again emphasizing the impact competition from alternative media is having on the printing industry, Dr. Webb pointed out that many are categorizing printing as "offline media," and the term seems to be gaining popularity. "That's not necessarily a bad thing," he said. "But it is important for printers to understand the dynamics of both online and offline media, and look for ways to position their services to take advantage of both." The presentation, including audio, can be accessed at no charge by visiting http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinars/webinar051208.cfm Watch for the 2006 schedule for WhatTheyThink's economic outlook webinars to be presented by Dr. Webb in 2006. About Kodak: Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images -for memories, for information, for business, and for entertainment. With sales of $13.5 billion in 2004, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on four businesses: Digital & Film Imaging Systems - providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; Health - supplying the medical and dental professions with traditional and digital imaging and information systems, IT solutions and services; Graphic Communications - providing customers with a range of solutions for prepress, traditional and digital printing, and document scanning and multi-vendor IT services; and Display & Components - supplying original equipment manufacturers with imaging sensors as well as intellectual property and materials for the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and LCD display industries. More information about Kodak (NYSE: EK) is available at www.kodak.com.. 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 27+ year veteran of the graphic arts industry, and founding partner of PrintForecast.com. 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, available to Premium Access members, where it has become a must-read feature for the entire printing industry. He has expanded his presence with the launch of PrintForecast.com in November 2005, a unique blend of data and advisory services that serves the strategic planning needs of industry executives. Dr. Webb's has a free weekly e-mail newsletter, which can be requested at http://www.printforecast.com/signup.html (Photos of Dr. Webb for editorial purposes can be downloaded at www.drjoewebb.com/press )




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