On behalf of all the PCI staff I wish to take this opportunity to wish our readers, advertisers and contributing authors a very happy holiday season. We are successful because of your continued support, encouragement and feedback.

As editor, I want to thank all those who contribute the wonderful feature articles that PCI continues to provide our readers. You are a pleasure to work with and continue to make this publication the number-one source for practical and state-of-the-art technical information in the coatings community. In addition, I appreciate those who take the time to write and offer comments and suggestions. This past year we had some great reader comments, which we published in several issues. Please keep them coming. We welcome your input, suggestions and exchange of ideas – this is a great forum for us to exchange views and ideas concerning our industry.

Our current published market reports indicate that the first six months of 2006 showed continued growth for the total paint industry compared to 2005. This was due primarily to growth in architectural and special purpose coatings. In addition, the earnings reports for coatings manufacturers and raw material suppliers also look quite good for the 2006 fiscal year. All in all the industry has bounced back over the past several years and is reflecting the overall gains in the stock market. This is significant because we are showing growth and gains despite the rising cost of raw materials due to high energy prices throughout the year.

The industry has also seen an increase in the number of technical meetings, symposia, trade shows and webinars. I applaud those companies that sponsor free webinars for industry people, as this is a great educational and training service. The majority of these coatings events has been quite well attended and has rebounded from some past disappointments in attendance. For me it is gratifying to see the increased attendance, but of greater importance is the quality of the meetings. New research is being presented, and some novel breakthroughs have been reported in PCI this past year.

Quite obviously another topic of interest this past year has been the continued growth in Asia, and in particular, growth in China. All of our issues continue to report on new facilities being built in China and on continued expansion. We haven’t really addressed the ramifications of that for our local economy as yet; and we also will need to take a hard look at import/export of coatings and of coated products.

Overall the industry outlook is good for 2007, and folks are optimistic. A number of good meetings are planned, and some new technology is due to be released in the 2007 calendar year. We will, as always, be reporting to you as soon as information becomes available.

My parting thought for 2006 is this – spend extra time with family and friends during the holiday season. Sometimes we all get so busy with ‘things’ that we forget what is most important in all our lives. People – our families and friends – are not replaceable and should be treasured. I know I speak for all the PCI staff in wishing everyone peace, joy, prosperity and good health during this holiday season and for the coming year.