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NAPL: Sales Rise, Steady Prices Fuel Ongoing Business Upturn

Friday, March 12, 2004

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., MARCH 11, 2004 – The latest economic indicators from the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) bring good news: - Sales rose 3.9% in December for the NAPL Printing Business Panel, the biggest increase of 2003. - Prices held steady in January for 50.2% of printers surveyed by NAPL, up from 44.6% in September and 40.4% in June. - Profitability remained steady for 42.0%, compared with 36.8% last fall and 32.5% last summer. - Printers are thinking about hiring again—more than 39.0% of the Printing Business Panel plan to hire during the next six months, nearly five times the 8.0% who plan to trim staff. - The Association’s broadest measure of print activity, the NAPL Printing Business Index? (PBI?) closed in January at 54.2, down a bit from December’s 55.6. However, this marks the seventh consecutive month that the PBI was above the critical 50.0 mark—the point at which more printers report business is picking up than report it is slowing down. The economic analysis comes from NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center (PERC), which produces research and publications. “These indicators support our forecast that print sales will grow 3.2% to 4.1% this year, marking the industry’s first growth since 2000,” said Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. “However, economic recovery alone won’t guarantee gains in business. To participate in the upturn, printers must respond to the structural changes transforming our industry. These include the profound impact of digitization and the Internet, which are changing both the nature and source of competition.”




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