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| EIAJ Expects 1999 Electronics Output to Rise 2 Percent
January 6, 1999 (TOKYO) -- The Electronic Industries Association of Japan
(EIAJ) said that production in 1999 of Japan's electronics industry
is forecast to increase 2 percent, to reach 24,610.5 billion yen (US$216.2
|In 1998, such production is estimated to have plunged 7.2 percent, to
24,121.1 billion yen (US$211.9 billion), registering negative growth
for the first time in five years.
The EIAJ predicted that the slowdown in economic growth in the U.S. and
European markets would be negative factors in 1999. Also, it forecast
that the Japanese and Asian economies will bottom out, thanks in part
to the effects of the Japanese government's large-scale economic stimulus
package and other countermeasures.
In the 1998 estimates, growth tumbled in all of the three segments --
consumer electronic equipment, industrial electronic equipment, and
electronic components and devices.
Production of consumer electronic equipment is seen slipping 6.4 percent,
to 2,094.9 billion yen (US$18.4 billion) in 1998. Exports to the United
States and European countries remained strong, but poor domestic demand
due to sluggish consumer spending caused the decline.
On the other hand, demand for digital consumer equipment, such as digital
camcorders and Mini Disc players, as well as car navigation systems
continued to grow, the EIAJ noted.
This segment is forecast to increase by 0.6 percent, to 2,107.2 billion
yen (US$18.5 billion) in 1999, as the steady growth of new products
is expected to continue. DVD devices are now excluded from the production
forecasts because MITI's production survey (the data source) does not
include them. They will be included from 1999.
Production of industrial electronic equipment is estimated to have dropped
5.6 percent, to 12,516.9 billion yen (US$110 billion) in 1998. The negative
performance is due to sluggish domestic demand and exports to Asian
countries as well as stagnant exports to the United States.
A recovery is predicted for 1999. Production of industrial electronic
equipment is projected to grow 1.4 percent in this segment, to 12,691.5
billion yen (US$111.5 billion). A recovery in information-related products
such as personal computers and a steady growth in mobile communications
devices such as cellular telephones will support this growth, the EIAJ
Production of electronic components and devices dropped 6.8 percent,
to 9,509.3 billion yen (US$83.5 billion) in 1998. The EIAJ attributed
the decline to sluggish demand from the equipment segment due to the
downturn in the domestic economy, a steep decline in prices and stagnant
exports to the segment's leading markets, such as Asian countries and
the United States.
In 1999, production of this segment is expected to maintain a solid growth
rate, increasing 3.2 percent to 9,811.8 billion yen (US$86.1 billion).
This forecast is premised on a rise in demand for electronic components
following a recovery in the equipment segment, and steady production
growth of electronic devices to be supported by recoveries in the sales
of microchips and liquid crystal displays (LCDs), the EIAJ said.
More information in English is available at: http://www.eiaj.or.jp/english/press/pre25/index.htm
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