Outlook improves for list industry

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White Plains, N.Y.--Business appears headed upward in the second half for the beleaguered list industry, according to Donald R. Libey, principal at catalog investment banking company Libey-Concordia.

The b-to-b sector of the industry will grow about 8% in the second half, compared with industrywide growth of 2.2% or more, Libey said Thursday in a keynote speech at MeritDirect L.L.C.'s annual client conference.

Libey cited several key economic indicators in making his predictions, including low interest rates and wage and price stability.

The forecast was welcome news for the list owners in attendance, many of whom agreed business remains tough and orders for b-to-b lists continue to be smaller than in the past.

--Carol Krol

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