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The global economic recovery is picking up speed, but there remain risks. The global economy should grow roughly 5 percent in 2021, driven by growth in the United States and China. The world’s two largest economies are seeing accelerated growth. The United States should see first quarter growth eclipse 6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate), led by additional fiscal stimulus and the broad lifting of COVID-related restrictions. Monetary policy remains accommodative, which should help to further growth. Finally, consumer and business confidence is roaring back, as vaccination rates increase and consumers appear anxious to spend. The United States is set to grow 6.3 percent during the year.
In this month’s economic outlook report from IPC, you will find U.S. and European data on economic growth, employment, Manufacturer’s Sentiment (PMI), manufacturing capacity utilization and end markets for electronics.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
I recently spoke with PCB Technologies’ Jeff De Serrano, Yaniv Maydar, and Alon Menache about their new venture, InPack. They explain their plans to focus on advanced packaging, miniaturization, and other high-end technology, with much faster time to market, and they offer a view of the global market as well.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
The big news in the industry this week was the new bill introduced to the U.S. Congress in support of the PCB manufacturing industry. The Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, which was introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), incentivizes “purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development.” The bill is a PCB-oriented complement to the semiconductor-oriented CHIPS Act of 2021.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
There’s been a lot of talk among PCB manufacturers about the need to upskill their workforce. But where do you start—do you set up your own program or send staff to third-party training centers? We asked David Hernandez, IPC vice president of education, to weigh in on this topic, and the criteria that goes into creating IPC training programs. In addition to upskilling strategies, David also delves into the need for our industry to develop a labor pipeline, as well as the challenges we face in hiring, training, and retaining employees in this industry during a tight labor market.