Taiwan vendors report slow sales – blame Europe

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A cross channel ducky at Computex 2012
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And the footfall feels out of step with expectations

We’ve been taking the pulse from several Taiwanese manufacturers we’ve talked to as we’ve wandered around the many halls of Computex 2012, in Old Taipei.

And the concensus is that sales in Europe, with the notable exception of Germany, are very slow. Of course, in a global economy everything is connected to everything else and recently we’ve seen GDP, and estimates of GDP fall in all four BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries.

One vendor told me that there is, in general, a lack of confidence globally. People – and corporations – aren’t spending money because they really don’t know what’s going to happen; it’s not just Europe that’s the problem.

We won’t get the final figures from the sponsors of the Computex 2012 conference until it ends, but at a pre-conference press conference held by TCA (the Taipei Computer Association) and Taitra, both senior executives claimed that the Taiwanese export drive was still robust.

According to figures released by the TCA, there are 1,800 exhibitors occupying 5,300 booths with estimated visitor figures of 120,000 – 36,000 overseas visitors. That, the TCA estimates, will account for total sales of $25 billion.

In the absence of quantitative figures – the show started today – we can only give our qualitative impression. The show certainly doesn’t seem nearly as busy as last year – it’s easy to get taxis, there are no endless lines at Subway, and even the journalist count seems to be low.

TCA figures show Taiwanese manufacturers' confidence

This chart from the TCA is an index of exhibitors’ quarterly business onfidence and although there has been a bit of a rise in confidence in the second quarter of 2012, we’re reliably informed by the manufacturers that participated in our straw poll that everything is not quite as rosy as that index would suggest.