OE-A Business Climate Survey – Mixed feelings despite positive expectations


“The forecast for the Printed Electronics Industry remains positive and stable. We are slightly less optimistic than in the spring survey in March of this year, with an expected sales increase of 16 percent for 2023. Nevertheless, a promising 18 percent increase is projected for 2024,” says Dr Klaus Hecker, OE-A Managing Director, about the results of the latest business climate survey.

The biannual survey is conducted by OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association), a working group within VDMA. “The results of the survey show that the industry’s confidence remains broadly stable building on successes of the previous years. The overall good forecast dipped slightly in the light of recent crises hotspots and the arising uncertainties. We see indicators that at least part of the industry is expecting a slower business in the upcoming months,” adds Klaus Hecker.

The turnover sales forecasts +16 percent for 2023 and +18 percent for 2024 shows an overall positive outlook of the Printed Electronics Industry into the future. However, only 6 percent of the survey participants plan to increase investments in production within the next 6 months. This is a sharp decline compared to the results of the previous survey in February 2023 (+71 percent), showing that the geopolitical situation, high energy costs and inflation are taking their toll. Only half of the of the companies (46 percent) expect the industry to continue its positive development, which shows a more diversified picture than February 2023 (76 percent).

Despite the uncertainties, 2024 will be a promising year for the flexible and printed electronics industry in terms of Research & Development investment. More than 81 percent of companies surveyed will increase investment in Research & Development activities over the next six months. This shows a fundamental confidence in the technology and applications of the industry. With 42 percent of respondents expecting employment to remain stable and 52 percent planning to increase headcount, the employment situation is encouraging. "Despite the challenges, I expect a satisfactory year for the Printed Electronics Industry. Order intake is at a good level, and our major customer markets in Consumer Electronics, Automotive, Medical & Pharmaceutical and Building & Architecture will continue to drive our industry forward. At the upcoming productronica and at LOPEC in March 2024, international visitors will once again see impressive printed electronics applications – I am personally very much looking forward to it," concludes Dr Klaus Hecker.

Caption: The OE-A Business Climate Survey forecasts a 16% increase in turnover for the industry this year. For 2024, a plus of 18% is expected (source: OE-A)

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