Trying to forecast the electronic components market right now is a tough call, so the Electronic Component Supply Network (ecsn) has hedged its bets.
It has issued a half year 2020 forecast which predicts the UK and Ireland electronic components market will perform in the range of -3% to +2%, achieving a mid-point of (1%) decline on the same period last year.
For the full year it offers guidance, not a forecast, of growth in the range of 2% to 7%. If this comes to fruition the industry will turn in sales revenue growth in the range of 0% to 4.5% for the full year.
It also reported that UK and Ireland components sales look set to fall in 2019 to £2.99bn from £3.22bn last year, a 3.6% decline. Distributors increased their share of the TAM to 43% despite sales slipping to £1.34bn from £1.39bn in 2018.
Aubrey Dunford, ecsn analyst commented “With so many uncertainties it is impossible to forecast for a whole year.”
There is a tacit agreement that the fundamentals are in place for a market recovery.
Says Dunford, “There is significant pent-up demand for new 5G handsets and infrastructure systems for smart vehicles, but these will need a huge investment in local infrastructure and it is here that UK companies can really make a mark.”
He added that ecsn members were upbeat about opportunities for further growth in 2020.
The only obstacles are politicians. The US and China need to sort out their trade spats, and of course the UK, one way or another has to draw a line under the Brexit fiasco.
All this uncertainty has put the brakes on investment.
“Manufacturers don’t have the incentive to make the investment to expand their production capacity,” remarks Dunford. He is concerned that if the market does pick up there could be a return to product shortages.