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September Print Buyer Pulse Index: Print Customers Look for a Signal

Press release from the issuing company

September 24, 2002 - WhatTheyThink.com and CAP Ventures have released the monthly Print Buyer Pulse Index. The data was compiled earlier this month from print buyers throughout the United States. This index provides real-time analysis of print demand directly from the end user. The September polling indicated that 30.1% of print customers expect their print spending to increase over the next 6 months, a slight decline with the August (34.5%) level, but in line with July (29.7%) and June (31.8%) levels. The steady improvement in print customer 6-month sentiment, which peaked in the April and May polls, appears to have stabilized at a slightly lower level over the last three months. In September, print customers’ outlook for their print spending over the next 6 months is to increase a modest 1.4% compared with the last 6 months. This level of increase is in line with the last three months including the August (1.9%), July (0.9%) and June (1.1%) 6-month growth estimates. However the third quarter outlook is down sharply from the first and second quarter figures. The percentage of print customers expecting an increase over the next six months has hovered around 33%, while the percentage expecting a decline has been around 15%. The remaining 50%+ expect no change. Another important observation is that print customers average expected increase in print spending over the next six months rose from 2.2% in the first quarter to 3.5% in the second quarter. This rise coincided with generally improving economic news including low inflation and high GDP growth levels. However, over the summer the six-month expected increase dropped to around 1.4%, indicating a more pessimistic outlook than in the spring. Print customers appear to be cautious knowing that if their company revenues contract, retail spending drops or other broader economic indicators turn negative their budget may be slashed in the fourth quarter. Premium Access members at WhatTheyThink.com can view charts, graphs, demographics and complete comparisons with previous months. The complete results also include August actual spending and projected spending for September. The data can be accessed at www.whattheythink.com