Auld Lang

THERE IS something sad about the end of the year, a feeling of loss, even when it’s just night turning into day. Like chapters in a book, the year tells part of our entire life story, and I’m sure many of us are guilty of turning the page without giving it much thought at all. But, as Barry Manilow used to sing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, “Don’t look so sad, it’s not so bad, you know. It’s just another night, that’s all it is.” In those 365 days of 2006, a boatload of commercial printing companies changed hands. Thousands

THERE’LL BE a slight hissing noise behind the strains of Auld Lang Syne at New Year’s Eve celebrations this year. It’s the sound of some steam going out of the economy. The slowdown in GDP growth isn’t expected to turn into a recession, but it will have an impact on printing industry sales growth. The one standout will be growth in digital printing. While it continues to use the Blue Chip Economic Indicator Consensus in its forecasting, NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center (PERC) is now making that number the upper bound of its economic outlook range, reports Joseph Vincenzino, senior economist. PERC’s analysis had

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor Optimistic is the one word most often used to describe the outlook for commercial printing in 2004. And yet, as the last strains of "Auld Lang Syne" fade away, it's unlikely many printers will feel like breaking into a rousing chorus of "Happy Days Are Here Again." The bursting of the "irrational exuberance" bubble has led to a time of lowered expectations. Also, the recent performance of the printing industry means year-to-year comparisons are being made against a very weak base. If the economy tracks as expected—growing by around 3.5 percent next year—print markets should continue to

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