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27
October
2010

Europe counts for 19% of global electronics equipment

With a value of 217 billion euro in 2009, Europe still accounts for 19% of the 1,115 billion euro global production of electronic equipment, according to a electronics.ca report.
This global production value is equally divided between mass market product categories (PCs, mobile phones, game consoles, etc.) and professional electronic equipment. Europe’s role in mass market electronic production has diminished substantially since the crisis of 2001 to represent only 11% of the world output in 2009 but, with a share of 28%, it has a far more important position in professional electronic equipment production. But Europe’s electronics industry is losing market share to competing regions.

With a fall in production of 13,9% in 2009, the European electronics industry has been hit hard by the global economic recession. This second crisis within a decade reaffirmed the decline of European electronics production in the telecommunication sector that was set in motion by the crisis of 2001. Indeed, major European OEMs have accelerated their restructuring plans during the crisis, leading to job cuts in Europe. Moreover, contrary to the 2001 crisis, professional application sectors such as Automotive and Industrial were not immune to the global economic recession contrary. This left Aerospace/Defense and Security as the only sector of European electronic production to achieve positive growth in 2009!

Looking ahead, Europe will share a similar recovery profile to that in other developed economies; i.e. modest growth starting from 2010 and rapidly reaching an average trend of 2,5% between 2009 and 2014. Due to its flexibility and responsiveness to global markets, North America should recover slightly faster than Europe, although the medium term growth perspective remains very limited and it is only expected to achieve 2,9% average annual growth between 2009 and 2014.

Are there any reasons to be optimistic about the future of the European electronics industry? Provocative as the question may be, the answer is yes. Professional electronic equipment should benefit from higher global growth perspectives than mass-market products over the period 2009 to 2014 (6,5% average growth compared to 4,5% for mass market products). Professional market segments that are closely connected to the new emerging societal challenges such as power electronics, medical electronics or security, will experience the most dynamic growth. The market potential associated to such applications is gigantic (smart grid, tele-health, homeland and IT security) and could represent massive business opportunities by the end of the decade for all the players involved.

Europe holds a unique position in the global competitive landscape, having global leaders in every stage of the supply chain in all these business segments. This comprehensive ecosystem is therefore a key success factor for the future of the European electronics industry. With 4,8% annual growth estimated in 2010, the electronics industry will recover faster than expected and, therefore, reach the average trend as soon as 2011. A 5,5% average annual growth over the forecast period is anticipated, with the electronics industry eventually reaching 1,5 trillion euros in 2014.
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