Electronic sales to recover late 2009

Electronic equipment markets should begin a recovery in the fourth quarter of 2009.

June 23, 2009

Electronic equipment markets should begin a recovery in the fourth quarter of 2009.

This will enable the electronics industry to enter into a sustained recovery in the second half of 2010 with a reacceleration in sales in 2011, according to a study performed by Gartner, Inc.

“Almost all sectors of the electronic equipment market are still declining, and we will need to see markets hit bottom before we see the waves of recovery and a rebound to positive growth,” said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president at Gartner’s semiconductor manufacturing group. “The wider process of rebounding will occur over a period of approximately two years.”

Although the PC market is already reaching the bottom of its growth pattern, Rinnen said the majority of electronics segments will not reach bottom until the second half of 2009, and until then, uncertainty will remain high and visibility low.

“Although there are signs that the market will improve over the next few years, we do not expect semiconductor sales to regain the 2007 peak sales levels during the current five-year forecast period, ending in 2013,” said Jim Tully, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

It is anticipated that PCs and mobile phones will be among the lead segments to bottom out and start the charge for the recovery.

Even if government stimulus plans lead to a rapid economic recovery and a return to growth, Gartner does not expect the onset of a sustainable recovery — as measured by a rolling 12-month comparison with the prior year — to set in before the second quarter of 2010.

Mobile phones are projected to be the first market to achieve a sustainable recovery, edging PCs by about one quarter. For the industry as a whole, sustainable recovery will take longer.

Gartner analysts said that awareness of risk, both up and down the supply chain, is a must for industry players to maximize their opportunities. In the near term, careful attention must be given to the expected recovery pattern of each sector, and a response must be planned, as those vendors with the most credible response to these patterns will be the ones that emerge from the downturn as winners.

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