MANHASSET, N.Y. Indicative of the current uncertainty in the electronics market, the monthly order index compiled by the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) dipped in November after rising in October.
The index gauges order activity in passive, active, and interconnection components as well as materials and services. The index has been on a roller coaster
since mid-year, rising one month only to fall the following month. However, the index's moving average remains several percentage points ahead of this time last year, according to the Arlington, Va., industry association.
"Order activity has slowed down over the last few months, but overall 2004 has been a positive year," said Bob Willis, ECA president, in a statement. "Manufacturers and analysts see the slight downturn as a typical end-of-year phase, and not necessarily indicative of any pattern going into 2005."
Willis added that while unit growth for commodity products continues, lower prices are affecting the profitability for this segment. Both unit sales and profitability remain strong for specialized, technology-driven products, he noted.