The growth of Europe as a political unit has served it well as a player on the global stage. But the economic vitality of Europe depends on more than political unions and reforms. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, a number of which identify with or are part of the larger European Union (EU), continue to set themselves apart from Western Europe as they find and develop their modern industrial strengths.
Read more: An Expanding European Microcosm: What localization means to the electronics supply chain
Forecasts are slightly mixed but mostly conservative for the second half of 2008. Consumer spending in North America and Europe continues to slow, negatively affecting many in the electronics industry. ASP declines are widespread: from the continued memory slump to the latest troubles for flat panel TVs and displays (cf., "Flat Panel Displays" in this issue). Yet growth is still out there, believe it or not. Understanding tomorrow’s enterprise and consumer electronics demands provides significant insight to market positioning for new growth sectors and drivers along the electronics industry’s value chains.
Read more: Who is in the Driver's Seat? Regions, industries and consumers driving tomorrow's electronics value
The economic impact of fuel costs, especially oil, is reducing the spending power of many consumers and causing downgrades in forecasts for the second half of 2008 across industries. But these skyrocketing fuel and energy prices are proving advantageous for the alternative energy industry and those, such as the semiconductor sector, supporting this new industrial growth.
Read more: Power Play: Exploring the intersect of Solar and Semi
During the last quarter of 2007, the general forecast was for roughly 20+ percent cumulative growth in shipments and revenue for the global digital television (DTV) chip market, meaning an increase of 7.1 percent in electronic display demand. Behind the fantastic double digit growth forecasts (both in shipments and revenue) for DTV chips was the incredible global adoption rate of LCDs, the leader in thin film technology (TFT) displays.
Read more: Flat Panel Displays: Spot market buys, Driver ICs, and eBooks