MARCH 21--February electronic-component orders were up by more than 30% compared to February 2001, according to the monthly index from the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA). The 12-month index average was also positive for the second consecutive month.
"Reports from most sectors in the economy indicate recovery has begun," says Bob Willis, ECA president. "It's still early in the recovery cycle to predict when and how much, but the data at the beginning of this quarter indicate that around mid-summer revenue growth will reach manufacturers."
Most companies saw increased orders in February, with demand remaining solid in each week. The increasing growth substantiates recent industry optimism, according to Willis, although he cautions that two months should not be considered a trend.
"If the upward growth continues into March," says Willis, "the industry should be able to shake off this cautious hesitancy. Those companies that market themselves aggressively will be in t he best position to take advantage of the upswing."
"The monthly index reflects what the components industry in general is also seeing," says Glyndwr Smith, ECA chairman and assistant to the CEO and senior vice president of Vishay Intertechnology. "An increasing bookings rate over previous months, a steady-to-increasing backlog with fewer cancellations and pushouts, and more interest in new products and technologies, combined with the improving government fiscal news, should result in the projected sales improvement in the second half of the year."
The ECA represents manufacturers and producers of passive and active electronic components, component arrays, and assemblies, and materials and support services.