PARAMUS, N.J., MAY 5, 2005 – The Printing Business Index (PBI) of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), the Association’s broadest measure of print activity, rose to 60.1 in March 2005, up from 57.8 in February and 59.0 in January. Nearing the record high 62.7 reached in October 2004, the March reading marks the 21st consecutive month that the PBI has been above the critical 50.0 mark—the point at which more printers report activity is picking up than report activity is slowing down.
NAPL Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi tempers the good economic news with a word of caution. “We’re seeing signs of continued strength from a broad range of indicators, including the PBI, and that’s good news for the industry,” he says. “It’s important to recognize, however, that the business environment is not all sunshine. Costs continue to rise, putting a squeeze on profits, so companies must continue to emphasize efficiency and productivity improvements.”
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 economic analysis comes from NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center (PERC), which produces research and publications sponsored by Heidelberg, Kennesaw, Ga.
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