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Has 2017 been the year of inflection for the electronics industry?

Last week, the Electronic Components Supply Network (ecsn) predicted that the UK & Ireland electronic component market will grow in the range 6.5%-to-10.5% in 2018, having grown by 17% in 2017. That suggests that the recovery in the manufacturing sector of the economy will remain strong.

According to the ECSN the UK is seeing the longest period of sustained growth since 2000 and is confident that the outlook for 2018 will remain very positive, especially in the first half of 2018.

According to ECSN chairman, Adam Fletcher, after almost a decade in the doldrums 2017 was an ‘inflection point’ for the UK electronic components industry and he’s predicting that the global electronic components market will see a hockey-stick shaped growth trajectory over the next five years.

What’s driving this growth? According to Fletcher the world’s electronic components market is transitioning from consumer products towards fully autonomous transport and smart cities, with investment in the necessary infrastructure being built out, including the deployment of 5G mobile networks.

The opportunities for continued growth certainly look good but when most market forecasters were predicting flat or growth of just 4% for 2017, perhaps we need to take forecasting with a large pinch of salt.

As one distributor recently asked: “Can anyone tell me what will be going on next year, because I can’t! Realistically, beyond the next quarter it’s going to be anyone’s guess as to what will happen next year!”

Neil Tyler

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