Friday, April 20, 2018
Publication Date: 02/1/2010
Archive >  February 2010 Issue >  Tech-Op-Ed > 

2010: A Good Recovery Year
Jacob Fattal, Publisher
After a horrendous 2009, the electronics manufacturing sector seems to have stabilized and started to grow again. Biggest consumer item sales in the last quarter were large HDTV receivers, and while the manufacturers probably didn't make a lot of profit, if any at all, the cash flow was there and the rest of our industry now seems to be following suit as pipelines start to refill and the dust clears from a holiday shopping season that wasn't all that bad for the retailers. Wall Street has been getting better and better; the Dow has stayed well above 10,000 for a couple of months now, and much to Washington's annoyance, the big banks are giving their top execs over-inflated bonuses once again.

Yes, there are fewer pages to U.S. Tech, but we are still the largest and certainly the most dominant presence among print media in our industry. And that is no small feat. Consider this: not long ago we learned that the venerable and very strong publication Reader's Digest was cutting back to 10 issues per year: Dec./Jan. and another pairing yet to be announced — for the same subscription price. It appears to be their way of raising the subscriber's cost per issue while cutting back on printing costs. And the combined issue is thinner than its monthly predecessors — no big surprise, given the state of the economy. Printing 20 million plus copies a month of a magazine can create a very hefty printer's bill, no matter how much they charge for advertising.

The good news is that consumers are spending again. The just-completed Consumer Electronics Show was as spectacular as ever (see Tech Watch on page 10), and there was no shortage of "gotta have" new electronic toys which will filter down as more business for all of us. Economic markers point toward a steady, but slow recovery this year, and a number of OEMs and EMS providers are already gearing up in expectation of a big year.

APEX is just around the corner, and the IPC finally fixed the problems (see story in High Tech Events) caused by two separate shows in Chicagoland during September's Manufacturing Week 2010 is starting to shape up as a really good recovery year.  

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