Ron Davis

With the dawning of 2011 on the horizon, the business outlook had already turned brighter, even before the outcome of the November elections buoyed the spirits of the business community. "The bias of the U.S. economy is that it wants to grow," observes Ron Davis, Ph.D., and Printing Industries of America's (PIA) chief economist and vice president.

In the vernacular of economists, the outlook is for the United States to continue seeing a "U"-shaped recovery from the Great Recession. While the economy has bottomed out and the decline stopped, there will be a wide and slow up-slope to the recovery, such as it is.

Attendees at the 2009 Offset and Beyond Conference, which kicked-off yesterday and takes place through Wednesday, May 6, are taking advantage of the advice and experience of some of the world's top business and print leaders. In addition to Printing Industries of America's stable of experts, key presenters at this year's event being held at Caesars Palace include Howard Putnam, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Putnam spoke about leadership in turbulent times.

THIS IS my 267th Printing Impressions column. I have written these columns since November 1984 in all sorts of adverse conditions. Hurricanes? Tornadoes? Heart failure? Worldwide economic meltdown?

PITTSBURGH—October 27, 2008—The economy and competitive environment are creating more challenges than ever for today's printing firms. The 2009 Presidents Conference scheduled for March 1-5, 2009 at the Omni Orlando Resort in ChampionsGate, Florida, tackles the tough issues printers are facing.

PITTSBURGH—January 11, 2007—At the most basic arithmetic level of any business, there are only three ways to improve profitability. Since profits are the difference between total revenue and total cost, the three basic paths to improved financial performance include pursuing pricing power, pursuing cost control, and pursuing sales growth. These options provide printers three distinct strategic paths to improved financial performance. But the key questions are: • Which of these strategies work best in the printing industry? • Which one should senior management pursue? PIA/GATF’s Vice President and Chief Economist, Dr. Ron Davis, performed statistical simulations with the PIA/GATF Ratios database on revenue, cost, and profits of all

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