LONDON Worldwide orders for connectors were up +7.8% in August making it the twenty-ninth consecutive month that connector orders have increased over the same month in the previous year according to specialist connector market research in The Bishop Report. In the year to the end of August 2004 bookings are up +30.2% over the same period in 2003.
Billings are also on an impressive run of twenty-two consecutive increases over the prior year month being up +19.4% over August 2003. In the year to the end of August 2004 billings are up +26.3%.
Month-to-month comparisons are less favorable and clearly show that growth is slowing. August 2004 bookings were down -10.5% compared to July 2004 making four of the last five month-to-month comparisons negative (April -10.7%,May -7.3%, June +5.8%, July -4.8%, August -10.5%).
Similarly, August 2004 billings were down -8.6%, making four of the last five months negative.
The Bishop Report says August results are in line with what we have been expecting and forecasting and the industry has experienced accelerating sales for three consecutive quarters beginning in 4Q03.
Bishop says there are three primary reasons it is anticipating a slow down in growth: key world GDPs have declined slightly; the third quarter traditionally slows because of automotive industry changeovers, the European holiday season and the traditional lull in consumer spending this far away from the Holiday season; and growth comparisons become more difficult because of the excellent sales achieved at the end of last year.
Bishop is predicting monthly sales increases for September through December in the high single digit area with a full year sales growth in the 17% to 18% range.