PARAMUS, N.J., AUGUST 3, 2005 – The Printing Business Index (PBI) of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), the Association’s broadest measure of print activity, rose fractionally in June 2005 to 55.9 from 55.4 in May. Although both readings are down from the 2005 peak of 61.1 reached in March and April’s robust 58.9, the latest reading marks the 24th 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 remarked that “the good news” of a strong PBI and other NAPL indicators is positive for the industry. He notes that a moderating economy and continued pressure on prices clearly slowed print’s growth during the first half of 2005. “But every recovery hits soft spots,” he said. “The trend—not temporary variations around the trend—is most important. NAPL printing business indicators suggest that the trend for our industry is still up.”
Paparozzi cautioned, however, that “printers can’t depend on a favorable turn in the business cycle to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. They have to continue to refine their business models to create value for customers.”
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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