ICT: World up, Canada down

A sudden upturn in global sales of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in May and June suggests the ICT industry may have reached a turning point and be on the road to recovery, according to a new OECD report. That's the world view. In Canada it's quite different, where first quarter stats show ICT manufacturing OECD74X70.gifdown sharply and ICT services continuing their decline.
The economic crisis has battered the ICT industry over the past year. Production plunged by as much as 40 percent on an annual basis in Japan, Korea, China and other Asian economies in early 2009 as exports collapsed.
But billings for semiconductor makers, a bellwether for the ICT industry, rebounded sharply in May after a severe collapse in orders in the first quarter of 2009. The global ICT industry appears on the brink of recovery: most countries posted positive month-on-month production growth in May and June and inventories are running down sharply. Asian ICT exports are also growing again month-to-month: Korean producers have fared best in the region, helped by a weaker currency, with production in May down only 3% on the previous year.
ICT production levels in May and June remain down significantly from 2008 as the recent uptick has not countered the full year slide. The production decline at US and European manufacturers appears to have bottomed out, but a significant rebound is not yet underway. In the US, for example, production in June was down 15% year-on-year but stable from the previous month. Click here for the full OECD report.

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