GRAPH EXPO & CONVERTING EXPO 2002 -- Showing Signs of Recovery
One key provision of the stimulus package allows buyers to write off 40 percent of the value of equipment purchases in the first year and 57 percent in the first two years for equipment currently depreciated over seven years.
Delmontagne admits that accelerated depreciation opportunities alone would not motivate many buyers, were it not for the extraordinary productivity of the new equipment reaching the commercial printing and converting markets in recent years.
"Vendors are producing the tools companies need to stay competitive and to seize new opportunities," he explains. "These are the factors that really justify purchases, but now the tax code also offers an incentive to buy."
Interest rates, meanwhile, remain at strikingly low levels, so for many investment-minded shoppers at Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2002, this really may be the best of times.
Trade shows, of course, are future-oriented events, and their success is shaped by attendees' own expectations of what the future might have in store for them. "It all comes down to confidence," adds Andrew Paparozzi, vice president and chief economist at the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). "You have to be confident to take on a major new debt."
NAPL has tracked printers' confidence levels since 1992, and while no strong long-term patterns are obvious, there have regularly been increases in confidence in the periods immediately around shows. "Printers have become more and more skilled in financial management," Paparozzi continues. "Graph Expo and Converting Expo provides sober, insightful information to help people run their businesses better. It plays a very valuable role in shaping the future of the industry."
Moreover, Paparozzi emphasizes, "for all the ups and downs of the business cycle, industry volume is still going up. The industry is still growing."
One potential sales growth area for commercial printers is large-