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TrendWatch: Printers Focused on Good, While Bad and Ugly Linger

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, NY -- May 23, 2002 -- The latest survey and analysis of the commercial printing industry by TrendWatch Graphic Arts reveals a healthy optimism by printing and publishing executives addressing the near future. Yet this is not without an equally keen focus upon economic conditions for which 51% report as their "top business challenge." Overall, the number of printing firms reporting "excellent" conditions rose from 12% last Fall to 15% this Spring. And the number reporting poor conditions dropped from 41% to 37%. The subscription report, titled "TrendWatch Graphic Arts Printing #15, Spring 2002," was made available today as the first of two annual printing report. For more information, please visit the TWGA website (www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com). "Most businesses in the printing and publishing industry seem to be in a wait-n-see mode," stated Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "For example, the top sales opportunity for 56% of the industry is 'improving economic conditions.' In other words, 'when the economy gets better, our business will get better' [up from 45% last Fall to 56% this Spring]. Thus many firms are eagerly awaiting the recovery." According to the report Markets have life cycles similar to product life cycles. Economic downturns have a way of accelerating market life cycles. Some of the segments in growth and decline are: GROWTH -- Digital Color Variable-Data Printing Jobs: VDP jobs are an opportunity for 10% of shops, and 26% of the quick printers (mostly on color copiers rather than digital presses); -- DTP Software: Expected investment in desktop publishing software is up to 15%; -- CTP: The top item that print shops plan to "start using" is platesetter/digital plates at 21% and another 28% of firms plan to use "more" platesetter/digital plates; DECLINE -- Prepress Houses and Quick Printers: Prepress firms are in the biggest trouble with the number reporting excellent conditions down to 7%; Quick printers aren't doing much better - "excellent" responses for them are down to 15% and "poor" responses are up to 38%. -- Hardware Investments: Planned investments are way down. Macintosh Computers are still the top buy, but they're down from 37% to 33% -- the lowest this category has ever recorded; -- Imagesetter Film: The top item that print shops plan to use "less of" is imagesetter film -- 37% will use less of it, while only 21% say their of imagesetter film use will remain constant. No one reported they'll "start" using it. Availability... "TrendWatch Graphic Arts Printing #15, Spring 2002" is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com or by phone at 866-873-6310. The price for the annual 2-report subscription is $7500. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase.