Worldwide industry sales in 2013 were up +2.7% for the full year over 2012. Sales totaled $48,877 million. Fourth quarter sales were $12,449 million, up +4.0% over the prior year. Note that 2013 results offset the sales decline in 2012 and got us back to the sales achieved in 2011.

Sales Performance by Quarter: 2011, 2012, 2013

Industry sales by region for 2013 can be seen in the following table. 

Japan was the only region to decline in 2013. Its sales contracted -16.0% year-over-year.

The following table shows the industry’s actual sales results versus the Bishop Forecast. The forecast was accurate on total world sales but off slightly by region. North America, Europe, and China had better sales in 2013 than forecast. Japan had a poor year, worse than expected.

Industry Sales Forecast Versus Actual Sales by Region For the Full-Year 2013 

Key observations:

  • Japan’s connector industry finished -7.6% below forecast. Japan’s performance was primarily the result of a stagnant economy due to a high yen value in 2012 and in the beginning of 2013, which suppressed exports.
  • North America’s industry performance was +1.0% better than forecast. This was the result of a strong automotive market in North America.
  • Europe’s connector industry outperformed the forecast by +2.2% over 2012. This was the result of general improvements in the European economies and easy comparisons due to the poor performance of the connector industry in 2012.
  • China started off 2013 on a relatively soft note, but then business picked up in the last half of the year. China finished the year just slightly better than forecast, as did Asia Pacific.
  • ROW was slightly below forecast.

The following table displays industry sales performance by region over the past 10 years. All in all, this past decade could be categorized as “just OK.” The 10-year CAGR was 5.4%, with most of the growth happening in the 2003 to 2008 period. The past five years could be categorized as “lethargic,” achieving a poor 1.3% CAGR.

Here’s why we believe the next five years will be better:

  • Europe seems to be in a modest recovery
  • The U.S. economy is recovering
  • Inflation is very low
  • Interest rates are historically low
  • China is showing signs of improved growth
  • The Federal Reserve continues a growth policy
  • Connector demand is showing mid-single-digit growth

2003, 2008, 2013 Sales by Region with Five-Year and 10-Year CAGR 

Ronald E. Bishop

Ronald E. Bishop

Ronald E. Bishop founded Bishop & Associates Inc., a market research firm that specializes in the world electronic connector industry, in 1985. The firm publishes a monthly newsletter titled “The Bishop Report,” and the twice-monthly digital publication Connector Supplier.

The reports, produced by a staff of 20 researchers, focus on geographic regions, end-user equipment markets, connector products, and interconnect technologies.

The firm also provides executive placement services and conducts multi-client studies and customer surveys, and assists in merger and acquisition activity.

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