2015 was a difficult year for the connector industry. With the exchange rate headwinds coupled with uncertain economic times, stock market turmoil and socio-political unrest, the results were hardly surprising.

Industry sales declined -6.1% for the full-year 2015 to $52,050 million measured in US dollars. The following table shows industry sales by quarter for 2013, 2014 and 2015. Each quarter of 2015 were marked by year-over-year declines in sales. The fourth quarter declined -4.9% sequentially from the third quarter.

Connector Industry Quarterly Sales & Forecast 2013, 2014, and 2015

Following nine consecutive quarters of growth, 2015 resulted in four quarters of contraction in the industry. 

The following table provides our 2015 industry results by geographic region.

2015 Industry Results by Region

Exchange rates had a significant impact on measuring the performance of the industry. The strength of the US dollar versus, in particular, the euro and the yen resulted in weaker performances for Europe and Japan. The performance of the industry, measured in US dollars and in local currencies, can be seen in the following table.

Industry Sales Performance YTD December 2015 USD-vs-Local Currencies

In local currencies, we can see that the connector market only contracted -0.5%. In Europe, the market actually grew +3.8%. And in Japan, the market only contracted -3.6% when measured in yen.

Regardless of whether the connector industry contracted -6.1% in US dollars or -0.5% in local currencies, this will lead into a slow start for 2016 as we see nothing in the immediate future that suggests there will be a substantial upturn in connector demand. With these results in mind, we will be finalizing our 2016 forecast over the next few weeks. At this point, we anticipate the forecast growth to be in the (very) low single-digits. 

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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