Global Industrial Production Growth and Latest PMI Leading Indicators

World industrial production growth remained generally positive based on data available from the Economist in late April (Chart 1). Only the three countries (highlighted in yellow) contracted.

Market Economics April “flash” PMI leading indicators continued to point to further manufacturing growth (Chart 2) with only China in a contraction mode (PMI >50).

Historical PMI performance is given for the U.S. (Chart 3), Europe (Chart 4) and China (Chart 5).

Source: and

U.S. Update

The U.S. Department of Commerce just released its March “Durable Goods” report which provides early information on domestic electronic supply chain shipments, orders and inventories:

  • Electronic equipment book/bill ratio rose to 1.03 (Chart 6).
  • Electronic equipment orders increased (Chart 7) as their 3-month (3/12) growth moved into positive territory (3/12>1.0) (Chart 8).
  • Electronic equipment inventories declined relative to orders (Chart 9).
  • Defense capital goods orders improved (Chart 10) although their book/bill ratio remained below 1.0 (Chart 11).
  • Aircraft shipments grew (Chart 12).
  • Communication equipment orders increased (Chart 13) while computer orders and shipments were flat (Chart 14).
  • U.S. electronic equipment shipments remain out of balance with semiconductor shipments to North America (Chart 15).


ECWC 13 Electronic Circuits World Convention

ECWC 13 will be held in Nuremberg, Germany on May 7-9, 2014. For more details

Ed Henderson and Walt Custer will be presenting a paper on Wednesday May 7 in Session 1.1 (Management/Markets) at 11:40am.


Global Electronic Industry Supply Chain Dynamics; Forecasting Equipment and Component Demand caused by Business Cycles, Product and Technology Changes and Geographical Shifts

By Walter Custer, Custer Consulting Group and Edward Henderson, Henderson Ventures

The electronic industry supply chain (finished electronic equipment, EMS and ODM activities, components, materials and process equipment) historically has experienced strong seasonality and disruptive multi-year business cycles. Relentless downward cost pressures and major changes in end product mix and technology (including the shift from traditional personal computers and cell phones to integrated mobile integrated communication devices) have further stressed all suppliers. Predicting and quantifying business cycle, technology and product changes can help companies focus R&D efforts, construct proper sales forecasts, purchase materials on a timely basis, plan capital investments and ensure adequate work force levels.

Goal of this paper
Present a unified geographic model for quantifying global electronic supply chain values and predicting future demand by region and product type based on historical data and leading indicators.


You can contact Walt while in Nuremberg at or via mobile at +1 7077851777. See you there!

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Walt D. Custer

Walt Custer

Walt Custer is an industry analyst focused on the global electronics industry. Prior to forming Custer Consulting Group he was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Morton Electronic Materials, a global supplier of specialty chemicals and process equipment for the PCB industry.

Custer has been a member of the IPC trade organization since 1975 where he received both the President's and the Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Awards. He is currently a member of the IPC Executive Market & Technology Steering Committee. Custer is also a Director of the EIPC European PCB trade organization.

He authors regular “Market Outlook” columns for Global SMT & Packaging magazine, the Journal of the HKPCA and the TTI MarketEYE website.

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