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NAPL Research Points to Further Evidence of Slowing as End of Year Nears

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., NOVEMBER 29, 2006 – With the end of 2006 approaching, signs of slowing have become more evident, according to research from NAPL, the trade association for excellence in graphic communications management. “Commercial print sales are moderating and the economy is definitely on a slower growth path,” said Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. “Granted, compared where the industry has been in recent years, sales are still quite healthy, but a continuing deceleration in sales growth is likely and printers need to take this into consideration as they plan for 2007.” NAPL’s Printing Business Index (PBI), the trade association’s broadest measure of print activity, eased to 58.7 in October from 59.4 in September. (A PBI reading above 50.0 means more printers report activity is picking up than report activity is slowing down; a reading below 50.0 means the opposite.) Although the PBI remains substantially above July’s 49.9 reading (the index’s lowest level in three years), it most likely reflects relief that the worst case scenarios regarding the Mideast conflict and rising energy prices during the summer did not pan out. The PBI combines input from NAPL’s Printing Business Panel about work-on-hand, current business conditions, expected business conditions (confidence), hiring plans, profitability, and other key indicators into a single measure of activity. The NAPL Printing Business Panel is a representative group of more than 300 printers that the Association surveys monthly on a range of key printing issues. Since the same companies are surveyed every time, data are strictly comparable from period to period. The in-depth analysis provided in NAPL’s economic reports is enabled by the ongoing relationship NAPL economists have developed with a broad base of printing and graphic communications company executives. “We’ve successfully recruited the active participation of hundreds of executives who are thinking seriously about their businesses and their industry and who welcome being challenged on their thinking,” noted Paparozzi. “This enables us to tell printing company executives what they can expect in the business environment so they can minimize the number of surprises and not be caught unprepared for challenges or for opportunities.”




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