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2015 Cable Assembly Industry Outlook

By Dave Pheteplace | January 12, 2015

The fourth quarter of 2014 showed modest growth, which may be a sign of what’s to come. Read on to learn more about Bishop & Associates’ preliminary 2015 cable assembly industry outlook.

Cable assembly demand in 2014 was high through September, with year-to-date sales up almost 10% to more than $103 billion. Cable assembly demand slowed somewhat in October, which suggested that growth in 4Q14 would be modest (low single digits). Bishop forecasted that industry sales would grow +8.2% in 2013 to $137 billion*.

So where does that put the forecast for 2015? We believe the soft demand in 4Q14 is a trend that will carry over into 2015. Although 2015 will be a growth year, the growth will be at a slower pace than 2014. A number of major trends will affect the industry.

On the negative side:

  • GDP growth is slowing worldwide.
    • Several of Europe’s economies are flat-to-declining with no expectations for immediate improvement. Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, has been stuck around or below 1% growth for six quarters (excluding 1Q14 at 2.6%).
    • China’s GDP growth is forecast to decline over the near term. Growth at or below 7% is expected.
    • Japan’s economy is close to slipping into recession.
  • The automotive industry, which has fueled much of the cable assembly industry’s growth in the last two years, is forecast to slow over the next few years.
  • Consumer confidence is trending down in many of the major economies.
  • The manufacturing PMI index is hovering around 50% in many major countries.
  • Lower oil prices are hurting the economies of oil-producing countries.

On the positive side:

  • Interest rates are low.
  • The US economy is growing.
  • Unemployment levels are decreasing in the US.
  • Energy costs are low, helping the economies of oil consuming countries.
  • Inflation is modest and unlikely to rise any time soon.

As a result of the above, we believe cable assembly demand will slow from the high single-digit growth seen in 2014. 2015 will probably result in growth in the 3% to 5% range. We do not, at this time, believe sales demand will decline to negative levels in 2015. An updated forecast will be forthcoming in late January when the final results for 2014 are tallied.

*At the time this article was published, final numbers for Q4 and the year as a whole had not been determined.


No part of this article may be used without the permission of Bishop & Associates Inc. If you would like to receive additional news about the connector industry, register here. You may also contact us at [email protected] or by calling 630.443.2702.

Dave Pheteplace
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