Saturday, June 23, 2018
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In Spite of Everything. . .
Jacob Fattal, Publisher
It didn't happen. The mandatory sequestering of the federal budget kicked in, and the world didn't end. But everybody was nervously watching to see what would happen. The answer: not much. Yet.

There are times when the world's economy amazes and befuddles. A draconian fiscal measure called "sequestering" automatically went into effect on March 1. A month has passed, and incredibly, the U.S. stock market has climbed to new highs. To be sure there have been layoffs and cuts that really hurt in much-needed programs, including the military, but the economy has chugged along, almost seeming to be oblivious to these mandated government spending reductions.

So far, these mandatory cuts have not yet trickled down to the electronics manufacturing industry, but it will be important to watch for any effect as a result of DoD spending cuts which could show up at the upcoming round of trade shows. Interestingly, last year's Autotestcon held in Anaheim, was very sparsely attended because of previous cutbacks in military travel allowances. This is a predominantly military-oriented trade show, and it was reported that the only uniforms observed were from foreign countries. The upcoming September Autotestcon show will be in Schaumburg, Illinois, right in the IPC's back yard. Just what will we learn there?

What has been making the world financial markets more nervous has been the banking crisis in Cyprus, an island nation with a population of less than a million people. Euro nerves were frayed, but the markets did not go into free fall, but continued to grow. One of the reasons given is the resurging U.S. economy, highlighted by renewed consumer confidence and spending, along with a newly robust and fast-track housing market. There is suddenly a housing shortage in America, and homebuilders are hard pressed to find experienced construction workers since so many had been laid off and had found work in other industries.

The economy continues to chug along, not as fast a growth as we'd like to see, but positive nonetheless. Trade Show time is coming, and that will really tell the tale: SMT Hybrid Packaging Nuremberg, Nepcon China, EDS, EASTEC, and IPC ESTC. These shows will really tell the tale.  

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