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Dr. Joe Webb Economic Update on WhatTheyThink Highlights the Selling Points of Print in a Multichannel World

Monday, April 03, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

April 3, 2006 -- 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 enter the second quarter of 2006. Nearly 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/webinar060329.cfm “The picture for the printing industry is not improving. I am forecasting that printing shipments will be down $5 billion in 2006 as compared to 2005. While some statistical models predict less of a decline, none are predicting an increase,” said Dr. Webb. “Direct mail still appears to be the strongest segment. Magazines, catalogs and B2B sales materials continue to be sluggish or declining due to the competitive effects of alternative media.” Dr. Webb expects GDP expects GDP for 2006 to end up in the 3.0% to 3.5% range, with unemployment staying close to 5%. “As I have been saying for some time, if the Fed continues to raise interest rates during the course of 2006,” he warned, “it could cause a significant economic slowdown.” In the session, Dr. Webb also discussed a statistical relationship between printing shipments and e-commerce, saying, “For every +0.1 percentage point change in e-commerce share of retail sales, there has been a corresponding $1.84 billion decline in printing shipments. This is not to say that growth in e-commerce is causing the decline in printing shipments. The increasing use of e-commerce is a surrogate measure of the increased use of all new media. This strong statistical relationship that does not bode well for the future of printing shipments.” Dr. Webb noted that some printing companies are using the e-commerce trend to their competitive advantage, such as VistaPrint and PrintingForLess.com, with very positive, impressive results. He opined that more commercial printers should be integrating e-commerce into their daily operations, and that printing companies should be at the forefront of helping their clients implement new media solutions. The presentation, including audio, can be accessed at no charge by visiting http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinars/webinar060329.cfm Watch for the balance of the 2006 schedule for WhatTheyThink’s economic outlook webinars to be presented by Dr. Webb and sponsored by Kodak. 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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