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During 2000 and 2001, we saw a dramatic, unprecedented growth in electronics equipment, certainly unequalled in the previous ten years since 1991; then came the drastic 2001 slowdown. During the frantic time (just prior to the dramatic slow down), many companies were reporting shortages of equipment and materials and were doubling and tripling ordering, fearing that they would not be able to satisfy the current demand due to shortages.
Evidence shows clearly that there was a significant increase in inventory, which of course inflated the whole situation greatly. In other words, this inventory was created against anticipated demand rather than the actual underlying order rate.
Currently, the situation is different. The measures indicate that there is not the same level of inventory in place which encourages us to forecast that there will not be as deep a trough as that seen in 2001. The evidence also points to a U-shaped demand curve due to the fact that the market has been slowing in some instances since the end of 2007. This is particularly true in Japan, a market that appears to be approximately six to nine months ahead of other regions.
This pattern of development has been mirrored by other countries and regions round the world.
BPA collects information and data from a wide source in order to analyse it and produce key forecasts as part of our PCB Information Service. We have just released our Five Year Forecast which provides reliable, trustworthy and essential information to enable adequate business planning for the times ahead. The final chart below shows BPA's analysis for Worldwide PCB Growth. For more information, visit www.bpaconsulting.com.