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TWGA Forecasts Up-Beat 2004 for Printers

Monday, October 27, 2003

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK -- October 24, 2003 -- TrendWatch Graphic Arts today released their annual forecast report for the printing industry and for the first time this millennium, expectations are strongly optimistic. According to the report, 39% of all print and prepress firms expect "excellent" conditions in 2004 (up 13% from Spring 2003). This is further supported by TWGA's announcement that their Business Conditions Index for printers has exceeded 30.00 for the first time since Spring 2001 (when it was a negative -2.4), a historical sign that the industry is in the early phases of a recovery. But many printers are still linking their fortunes to the national economy. According to TWGA, the top challenge for printers remains "economic conditions," (82%), up 25% from Spring 2003, which is by far the highest ever charted. Researcher's Quote... "The evidence is strong... So many printers are waiting for the economy to turn around and fix their business," notes Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "Trend after trend shows that the economy rebound is NOT going to significantly help printing companies turn sales around. Since 1995, TrendWatch Graphic Arts has been collecting intricate data on the graphic arts industry. Simply stated, the numbers indicate that an economic upturn will not translate into an upturn for printing demand. Instead, printers and vendors need to change their business models to reflect the needs of today's new business environment. Our analysis indicates that printers need to become more familiar with digital printing, short-run color, personalization, value-added services, cross media, CIM, JDF, and CIP4. This is why we believe this report offers so much value, now more than ever before. The conditions are ripe for individual businesses that can meet the graphic communications needs of tomorrow's customer." According to the Report... -- PLANNED INVESTMENT: The number one planned investment is Macintosh workstations at 56% (up 18% from Spring 2003). Such a high increase in the annual top investment is further evidence that printers are starting to invest again; -- VARIABLE OPPORTUNITY: "Variable data printing" is a sales opportunity for a record high of 13% of printers-but, more importantly, "variable-data printing" is at an all-time high as an opportunity among creative firms; -- THE PRESS IS OFF: Multicolor sheetfed presses are at the lowest level ever in history of survey, as less than 2,000 companies claim to be in the hunt for a press; -- TRAINING UP: The number two sales opportunity for printers is, oddly enough, "helping customers with training" at 27% (up 19% from Spring 2003). Printers are finding that they need to work more closely with their customers to achieve the goal of optimal efficiency; -- NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Two new sales opportunities for printers debuted in a tie as the number three opportunity: "broadening digital printing services" and "making our Web site more interactive." About the Report... This forecast report, the 5th installment of what has become a Fall ritual, draws upon all the TWGA surveys and studies of the past year (as well as our voluminous historical databases that date back to 1995) to frame the basis for our discussion of what print businesses have in store for them in the next 12 months. The report is geared to assist vendors, commercial printers and their suppliers on what they should expect, in terms of trends, in 2004. By understanding the trends, production, marketing and sales managers can better allocate their resources in preparation. Methodology... The foundation of this report is based upon data compiled from TrendWatch Graphic Arts' own proprietary historical databases (for creatives and printers) as well as the TrendWatch Graphic Arts Printing, Design & Production, and Publishing market survey reports. Information was also gleaned from various industry sources, including industry trade magazines, interviews with printers and print buyers, as well as consultant expertise. Availability... The 102-page TWGA "Printing Forecast 2004: The TrendWatch Graphic Arts Perspective on How the Printing Industry Can Survive the Economic Recovery" report is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com or by phone at 866-873-6310. The price for the report is $1595. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase. For more information about this and other TWGA reports, go to the main TWGA website page (http://www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com).




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