ACL - celebrating 23 years of Electronics, Design and Manufacturing
May I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, and trust you had a pleasant Christmas break.

Welcome to the ACL Quarterly Report


With this, we aim to inform our industry colleagues of any relevant news, component lead-time, and a market condition update that may affect the manufacture and sale of your products, and the electronics industry in general.
ACL Factory Image With ACL as your partner, you receive unsurpassed manufacturing quality, delivered on time ever time by our IPC trained, experienced workforce. With accounts with hundreds of suppliers worldwide we are able to source components, where others may struggle. We work hard behind the scenes to ensure there are no component supply issues.

Our sophisticated bespoke in-house written purchasing, QA, and production control software is continuously modified in response to market changes. Materials are always purchased well in advance of a client's delivery date giving you peace of mind.

I hope you find the contents informative. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Supply Chain & Manufacturing

This quarter has again seen component prices and lead times remain relatively stable. However industry experts expect an increase in the price of tantalum in 2013 as demand for cutting edge products grows.

The cost of lithium is expected to increase gradually over the coming year as battery sales increase. Supply is geographically concentrated mainly in Chile. An annual price increase of 15 to 30% similar to previous years is likely.

UK & Global Trends

This fourth quarter started much more positively with reports at the end of the third quarter indicating the "Olympic Effect" had pulled the UK out of recession. From July to September the economy grew by 1pc and November saw no change to inflation at 2.7pc. Recent reports indicate manufacturing activity is on the increase. According to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) activity was at a 15 month high in December expanding to 51.4 (a figure over 50 indicate expansion).

UK unemployment saw its largest quarterly drop since 2001. Although the rate is still at 7.8pc optimism about a reduction in unemployment gave Sterling a significant boost. The end of the fourth quarter saw a "no-change" decision by the Bank of England as it held interest rates at a record low of 0.5pc and its QE stock at £375 billion.

It is good to see that the US fiscal cliff has been averted for now, with tax increases and budget cut decisions delayed for 2 months. This ran the risk of triggering market turmoil and global recession. In the wake of the US decision to delay markets in Europe have gained. UK shares were up by 2pc boosted by the recent surveys of the UK manufacturing sector, as above..

Concerns over the fiscal cliff has helped Sterling rise against the USD in recent weeks. However this is likely to change given the recent news. It also boosted riskier assets contributing to the euro improvement over the pound. This gain by the single currency is likely to be short-lived. Predictions are that the GBP/EUR could rise back up through 1.24 - 1.246.

Japan experienced a 0.9pc fall in GDP this quarter, the second quarter of contraction made worse by exports falling 5pc from July to September. The yen's strength has had great impact on the economic problems facing Japan. The yen rose 6pc between April and November resulting in increased cost of Japanese exports for foreign buyers. This situation is now changing with the value of the yen beginning, at last, to fall.
I hope you find this report informative. Please find enclosed ACL's brochure together with a component pricing and lead time breakdown.
If you would like to discuss any manufacturing requirements please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
Arthur Woode
Director
 
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