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NAPL: Upturn Continues But Reason For Caution Remains

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., JUNE 1, 2004 – The printing industry continues to gain strength, according to the latest economic indicators from the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). Sales are up, and a host of other indicators, including work-on-hand and confidence, show the upturn is continuing. NAPL economists caution, however, that it’s important for printers to keep the good news in perspective. “We’re rebounding from very depressed levels,” said Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. “After three years of recession, we have to make up a lot of ground. Also, costs are rising, markets are getting more competitive, and prices, although stabilizing, aren’t coming all the way back.” Among the rising indicators is the NAPL Printing Business Index (PBI), the Association’s broadest measure of print activity, which rose to 59.9 in April from 58.1 in March and 54.0 in January. The PBI has been above the critical 50.0 mark—the point at which more printers report activity is picking up than report is slowing down—for 10 consecutive months. 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.