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June Printer Confidence Index: Market Appears to Have Flattened

Press release from the issuing company

June 26, 2002 - WhatTheyThink.com and CAP Ventures have released their monthly Printer Confidence Index. The data is compiled each month from printers throughout the United States. The goal of the index is to provide real-time analysis of PRINT DEMAND and CAPITAL SPENDING expectations. In June, about the same percentage (42.0%) of print providers said that conditions in their local market are starting or continuing to decline as in May 2002 (43.8%). Note that May was the first month since December of 2001 with an increase in the percentage of printers indicating demand is starting or continuing to decline. However, a slightly larger percentage (24.1%) of print providers indicated in June that conditions in their local market are starting or continuing to improve. The research suggests that the steady improvement throughout the spring in overall market sentiment may be at a plateau as the industry heads into the summer. Key observations for June include: - Second highest percentage of companies (24.1%) citing improving market conditions since the beginning of the year - Print growth index improved slightly. The index (-0.37) has been negative all year, and June was consistent with the last four months - 2002 year-to-date value of shipments ($30.81 B) as reported by the US Department of Commerce are running 7.1% behind 2001 ($33.16) - Print industry production levels and capacity utilization as reported by the US Federal Reserve have been flat since February 2002, but have not declined as they had throughout 2001 - The percentage of print providers expecting their print volume to decline compared with last month increased for the third straight month (27.4% in June vs. 18.7% in May vs. 15.1 in April vs. 10.7% in February – the low point for the year) - Net expected decrease of –1.1% for June (current month). This decrease is the first negative number for month-over-month change in volume since December 2001. - Continued high percentage of printers purchasing capital equipment (40.8%). The June percentage of printers planning to make a capital purchase is the highest for all of 2002. Premium Access members can view the charts, graphs, demographics and complete comparisons with previous months. The Index tracks print demand last month, this month and the coming six months. The Index also examines past, present and future spending plans on capital equipment like: - Prepress - Offset & Conventional - Color Copiers & Printers - High Speed Digital Color - High Speed Digital B&W - Wide Format Printers - Bindery Equipment - Print Management Software The data can be accessed at www.whattheythink.com

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