International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) has released a new Industry Trends Survey that offer a mixed prognosis for the broadcast technology sector. The global survey, which is based on interviews with senior executives, found a general climate of cautious optimism but the confidence level for North American in 2013 was below the global average.
"Overall, the survey outcome is still positive, but the mood is much more sanguine than in the recent past," noted IABM director general Peter White in a statement. "While confidence is growing in many segments and geographic areas, this is not true for all IABM members, many of whom are now feeling the impact of wider political and economic conditions and are adjusting their operations accordingly."
One worrying trend is that "order levels have remained as expected or fallen" but that "selling prices and material and labor costs have remained generally stable."
The IABM also reported that "order and project deferrals by customers are a primary operating constraint. "
Other constraints include the fact that "fulfillment is limited both by credit and finance issues, and by limited manufacturing capacity," the group reported.
On the positive side, the report noted that companies are, however, continuing to make significant investments in research and development.
While confidence ratios are rising in the Asia-Pacific region and are stable in Europe, the IABM noted that the "most significant and striking change occurred in North America, where confidence ratios dropped to levels equal to and then, for the year ahead, lower than the global average."