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NAPL: Modest Growth Expected, Stronger in Late 2002 & Early 2003

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, NJ, April 22, 2002 -The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), the trade association for the commercial printing industry, has issued its March Printing Business Conditions Report with all indicators signaling that the recession is over for print. The report cautions, however, that the recovery will be muted until corporate profits and the ad budgets they support strengthen late in 2002. It also points out that given the way the printing industry is changing, not everyone will share in the recovery - even when it hits full speed. The NAPL Printing Business Index (PBI), the association's comprehensive measure of printing industry activity, rose to 53.0 in March, up from 49.6 in February and 39.9 in January. The PBI has now risen five consecutive months and stands above 50.0 for the first time since October 2000. A PBI reading above 50.0 signifies that more printers report business is picking up than report business is slowing down. Conversely, an index reading below 50.0 indicates the opposite condition. NAPL Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi, stated, "How much an individual company participates in the upturn ahead will clearly depend on client mix, and even more on how well the company prepares for the structural change that is redefining our industry. Our markets are changing. So are the kinds of services our clients expect, how we produce and deliver those services, and our competition. That's why, as we've emphasized all along, this wasn't just another recession - and this isn't going to be just another recovery. We are a growth industry, and growth will accelerate considerably over the next 18 months. But this time a rising tide isn't going to lift all boats." The NAPL Printing Business Index NAPL developed the Printing Business Index (PBI) as a comprehensive measure of printing activity that includes critical metrics such as current business conditions, expected future business conditions (confidence), work-on-hand, hiring plans, and pre-tax profitability. A PBI reading above 50.0 means that more printers report that activity is picking up than report that activity is slowing down. A PBI reading below 50.0 reflects the opposite situation. As the graph below indicates, the PBI rose to 53.0 in March 2002 and stands above 50.0 for the first time since it stood at the same 53.0 mark in October 2000. The PBI has now risen for five consecutive months. NAPL’s Printing Business Conditions Special Update includes information on printing industry sales and profitability, as well as macroeconomic data for the national economy. The update report is published six times a year by NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center. Copies are available from NAPL at 800-642-6275, or through the NAPL website at www.napl.org. Further information about NAPL economics research programs may be obtained by contacting Mr. Paparozzi at the NAPL Printing Economic Research Center at [email protected] About NAPL Chartered in 1933, NAPL is a not-for-profit trade association representing the $88 billion commercial printing industry. NAPL’s mission is "To enable the printing community to profit from change" through a full range of management and educational services to its membership. In addition to on-site training at its Center for Professional Development in Paramus, New Jersey, and Management Institute (MI) courses held at Northwestern University, NAPL offers consulting services as well as an annual Top Management Conference (TMC) recognized as a leading industry source of strategic ideas. The organization’s Printing Economics Research Center (PERC) produces the Economic Edge newsletter, the Printing Business Conditions Special Update, and the Leading Indicators Service, a source of late-breaking data on trends within the graphic arts industry. Its Communications Department develops and distributes a variety of industry-specific periodicals and special reports, including Printing Manager magazine. NAPL also has a 33% interest in the Graphic Arts Show Company, which owns such major industry events as Graph Expo and Print.