October Electronic Component Orders Continue Upward Movement
Nov 13, 2003
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Electronic component orders continued their upward movement in October, according to the monthly index issued by the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA). October marks the third consecutive month of gains following 20 months of little or no movement.

Manufacturers at ECA's recent executive committee meeting in Chicago, IL, U.S. reported modest business increases during the last 2 to 3 months. Increases in Asia are being driven by PC and wireless markets, while specialty items account for growth in North America. Despite the relative prosperity, the watchword is still caution, according to Bob Willis, ECA president.

"Nobody's popping open the champagne," said Mr. Willis, "but there is a feeling of optimism that the market is bouncing back. The recent good news about the economy and job increases should provide a boost as well."

Mr. Willis added that despite the growth potential in Asia, particularly China, manufacturers continue to question whether capacity estimates in the area are accurate and what effect this will have on pricing. "There's little incentive to compete in the commodity markets with pricing at rock bottom levels," he says. "Unless demand catches up with capacity, it will be difficult to stabilize prices, much less increase them."

The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) represents manufacturers and producers of passive and active electronic components, component arrays and assemblies, and materials and support services. It is a sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), comprising more than 2,100 members that represent 80 percent of the $430 billion U.S. electronics industry.

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