For 2008 the German manufacturers of machinery and plants for electronics production still expect a turnover plus of five percent compared to last year. However, a general decrease in the total order value slows down the expectations to 2 percent growth for 2009. The broad feed back spectrum received shows the increasing uncertainty within the industry. This is the result of the brand new business climate survey, an ad-hoc assessment carried out among the members of the VDMA Productronics Association which has been presented on the occasion of the international electronics trade fair “electronica”.
Increasing Uncertainty 2009
“Despite decreasing growth expectations in our various client markets the answers of the participants in the survey were less dramatic than we expected. However, the uncertainty for the development of our heterogeneous industry sector for the next year remains”, says Volker Pape, Member of the Executive Board of Viscom AG and Chairman of the Board of the VDMA Productronics Association.
After all, one third of the participants reports the same or even better order situation than one year ago, and only 16 percent expect a decrease in turnover for 2008. For 2009 51 percent of the members, however, expect loss of sales.
In 2008 the electronics industry grew significantly slower. However with regard to all its sectors – semiconductor chips, circuit boards and other electronic components – it continues to globally grow in 2009.
“Nevertheless it is obvious that this means a plunge in capital expenditure on the part of our clients. They will certainly utilize their existing capacities first, even if the market takes up speed again”, says Pape. Even the booming growth in photovoltaics machinery will probalby go down to 25 percent growth in 2009. However, a considerable part of the generally positive results of this survey is certainly due to the booming photovoltaics market.
Further results of the survey
There is a clear development regarding working hours of the employees: Currently one quarter of the survey companies work extra hours, but 93 percent plan to go back to regular working hours in the future. With 2 percent in planning, short-time work is of no importance. However, 37 percent think about reducing their personnel. The average order balance amounts to 3.2 production months, just the same as in the last survey of April 2008. The current price situation is satisfying the rate of return is even good or satisfying. Generally speaking: markets moving in opposite directions and the financial crisis in general make it very difiicult to give a forecast for the development of the Productronics market. at present.
The VDMA Productronics Association with its 64 members represents the entire process chain of electronics manufacturing. Our members offer equipment, materials, and components enabling the production of a wide variety of electronics such as semiconductors, printed circuit boards, surface mount technology, MEMS, flat panel displays, and solar panels (photovoltaics). Our members are part of a global industry enabling electronics producers world-wide to mass-manufacture and offer their high-tech products to the end-users at a reasonable price. That means it helps to make electronics affordable for everybody.
The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) represents 3,000 mainly small/medium size member companies in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe. Machinery and plant manufacturing is a key technology and a powerful engine driving the economy. Accounting for 975,00 employees in Germany at present and represnting a production volujme of EUS 190 billiohn (2008) engineering is one of the largest industrial sectors and employers in Germany.