NAPL: Industry Recovery Still Most Likely 12 Months Away

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., August 12, 2003 – Optimism among the NAPL Printing Business Panel was up sharply in June, with nearly 38.0% expecting business to improve during the six months ahead, compared with 24.1% just two months before. The economic analysis comes from NAPL's Printing Economic Research Center (PERC). While there is reason for optimism - business will improve as the economy responds to massive stimulus for Washington - a full recovery for the printing industry is likely still a year away, according to Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL’s vice president and chief economist: “Although there are hopeful economic signs, there is still reason for caution. We haven’t yet seen a return of pricing power and profitability—the two hallmarks of full recovery—and are not likely to do so for at least a year.” Pricing pressure remains one of printers’ biggest concerns. A record 50.9% of the printers surveyed by NAPL reported that prices fell in June, nearly six times the 8.7% who reported prices rose. Pressure on prices increased pressure on the bottom line. Profitability fell in June for 47.9% of the Printing Business Panel and rose for just 19.6%. Sales were also down. The 6.3% drop in May was the fifth consecutive decline in sales and the largest drop in nearly a year. Paparozzi notes, however, that “sales are very erratic from month to month. Therefore, May’s result does not mean business is degenerating or that recovery has not progressed.”