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EBSCO Serial Price Projections for 1999 (Tommy Mitchell) Stephen Clark 02 Jun 1998 13:13 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 14:20:24 -0500
From: Tommy Mitchell <tjmitchell@EBSCO.COM>
Subject: EBSCO's 1999 Price Projections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            FROM: Thomas J.

Corporate Communications

(205) 991-1368


EBSCO Releases Updated 1999 Serials Price Projections and Cost History

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., U.S.A. --Projecting price increases is always
challenging as there are many factors affecting journal prices,
including inflation, currency exchange rates, cancellations of current
subscriptions, increased volumes and pages and, of course, publisher
prerogative. For 1999, journal prices could also be influenced
significantly by electronic journals as they present a new pricing
paradigm for publishers.

With electronic journals, there are new costs associated with new means
of production and new methods of access to journal content. Various
pricing models for electronic journals are currently being tested by
some publishers, while other publishers have not yet addressed the
issue. The overall impact of electronic journals on serials pricing
remains uncertain.

1999 Base Price Projections
Based on historical price increase data and information recently
received from publishers, EBSCO is projecting a base price increase1 for
1999 subscriptions of 9 to 11 percent for journals published in the
U.S., U.K. and Continental Europe. The base price increase is the price
of the subscription without regard to the effect of currency conversion
when the subscription is bought by a subscriber in another country.

Projections by Customer Billing Currency
The impact of currency fluctuations must be considered when projecting
final price increases in customers' local currencies. Generally, final
projected price increases for non-U.S. customers are based on the
estimated base price increase plus the relative value of the customer
billing currency at the time of projection compared to the applicable
publisher currency at the time of invoicing in the previous year.

There is an exception to the general principle as many major scientific,
technical and medical (STM) publishers outside the U.S. set U.S. dollar
prices for U.S. customers. Generally, ultimate price increases for
non-U.S. journals priced by publishers in U.S. dollars depends on the
value of the dollar in relation to the publisher's currency at the time
U.S. prices are set. This is only a general rule, however, as not all
publishers simply set a U.S. dollar price by converting prices in their
native currency to U.S. dollars at a set point in time. Therefore,
individual publishers' policies of managing foreign currency also impact
final price increases.

The projections below assume customers were invoiced in late fall 1997
for 1998 subscriptions and will be invoiced in the same time frame in
1998 for 1999 subscriptions. If a customer is invoiced at a time other
than late fall, projections for that customer may be different than
those in the table below due to the possible impact of currency

Projected Price Increases by Customer Billing Currency

Billing Currency                U.S. Journals           U.K. Journals
European Journals

Australian dollar               22 - 23%                        23 - 25%
23 - 25%
British pound                   10 - 12%                        9 - 10%
9 - 11%
Canadian dollar                 14 - 16%                        14 - 16%
14 - 16%
European Union*         9 - 11%                 9 - 11%
9 - 11%
New Zealand dollar      24 - 26%                        25 - 27%
25 - 27%
South African rand              13 - 15%                        13 - 15%
13 - 15%
U.S. dollar                             9 - 11%                 9 - 11%
9 - 11%

* Countries  participating in the European Monetary Union.

General Currency Considerations
The European Union successfully solidified its move toward a common
European currency (the Euro) at its summit in Brussels on May 1-2.
Irrevocable exchange rates between the currencies of the 11 nations
participating in the currency union which will go into effect January 1,
1999, were established at this summit. The 11 countries participating in
the union include Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland,
Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

The future effect of the Euro on price increases for journals ordered
between countries participating in the currency union will be the
elimination of currency impact on the prices of these publications. The
Euro will function as traditional currencies and therefore will
fluctuate against other currencies such as the U.S. dollar and British
pound. Currently, the trend of the Euro versus the dollar and British
pound remains uncertain. However, there is initial speculation that the
new European currency may strengthen somewhat in relation to the pound
and the dollar over the short term. At this time, it is too early to
comment definitively on this. Currently, the U.S. dollar, British pound
and major Continental European currencies are trading in ranges which
are relatively close to those ranges in which they traded last fall when
1998 journals were ordered. At this point, the best recommendation for
customers paying in these currencies is to add 2 to 5 percent to the
estimated base price increases for non-domestic journals in order to
protect their budgets from a potential weakening of the currency in
which they are invoiced.

The U.S. dollar's strength could be mitigated if the Federal Reserve
Board decides to raise short-term interest rates. At this writing2, the
Federal Reserve Board has decided to leave short-term rates unchanged.
The Federal Reserve Board next meets July 1 to consider interest rate
strategy. The Fed will likely continue to focus on the impact of the
tight U.S. labor and Asian markets on inflation.

Continued volatility in Asian economies and currencies continues to be a
concern. There has been significant devaluation of many Asian
currencies. Much of this devaluation impacted the 1998 subscription year
as currencies devalued at the time of invoicing last fall. For example,
the Korean won lost approximately 50 percent of its value versus the
U.S. dollar, British pound and European currencies between the ordering
season for 1997 subscriptions and 1998 subscriptions.  During the same
period, the Taiwan dollar lost roughly 12 percent of its value. The
situation in Asia remains fluid as concern continues not only over
monetary policy of the countries already impacted by currency
devaluation, but also with regard to the economies and currencies of
Japan, China and Hong Kong. Problems in these countries could have a
ripple effect on other countries in the area.

The Canadian dollar has weakened approximately 3 to 5 percent versus the
U.S. dollar, British pound and major Continental European currencies. As
a result, we are recommending Canadian libraries prepare for price
increases in the 14 to 16 percent range on non-domestic materials.

Over the last seven to eight months, Australia and New Zealand have both
seen their currencies weaken in relation to the U.S. dollar, British
pound and major Continental European currencies.  This weakening has
been in the range of approximately 12 to 16 percent. If this trend
holds, then customers in these two countries can expect price increases
well in excess of 20 percent on non-domestic material.

Conservative Budgeting
As always, EBSCO recommends all customers add 2 to 5 percent to the
estimated price increases for non-domestic journals to protect their
budgets from a weakening of the currency in which they are invoiced
between now and when subscription rates are paid. EBSCO continually
communicates with major publishers regarding projected price increases
and monitors world currency exchange rates. Should we see major
developments in these areas, we will update our projections.

1998 Subscription Historical Price Analysis
An analysis of 1998 subscription prices for customers purchasing with
U.S. dollars shows an average increase over 1997 subscriptions of 9.9
percent for U.S. journals, 12 percent for U.K. journals and 3.3 percent
for journals published in Continental Europe. These figures include the
impact of currency and are based on a weighted average of the actual
ordering patterns of a significant sample of large U.S. academic and
U.S. academic medical libraries.

1 Mid-May exchange rates were used for these projections.
2 Mid-May publication.

Released: May 28, 1998

Thomas J. Mitchell
Public Relations and Communications Manager
EBSCO Information Services
Fax: (205)995-1636