SAN FRANCISCODeutsche Bank remains optimistic that PC unit growth will accelerate through year-end.

The firm believes current expectations of 10 to 11% unit growth will trend up toward the company’s previous estimate of 15% year-over-year growth, the result of continued strength in emerging markets, consumer and the beginning stages of a corporate PC upgrade cycle in the second half of the year. 

Inventory correction has been largely cleared and manufacturing trends are firming, says DB. A relatively benign PC pricing environment continues, the company adds.

Evidence of an accelerating PC demand trend is visible among Taiwanese manufacturers; Quanta Computer increased its forecast to 30 to 50% year-over-year growth up from 20 million units shipped last year.

More broadly, Asian PC demand is tracking to 10 to 12% year-over-year unit growth in the June quarter, with early indications suggesting 10 to 15% in the September quarter. 

Overall, demand appears normal, the firm said, with a slow and steady ramp expected into the second half of the year. 

Motherboard units accelerated in May to up 17% year-over-year. Notebook data have also remained strong, with Taiwan notebook units up 63% year-over-year in May, accelerating from 37% growth in April. Notebooks are expected to be up 41% in the second half of the year.

LCD pricing has strengthened recently, DB said. Overall LCD pricing is up 5% in May versus the first-quarter average. 

Notebook and desktop pricing was relatively stable this quarter, with average ASPs for notebooks down 1%.
 
FRANKFURT - The printed circuit board (PCB) market in Germany grew 14% sequentially in March 2007, according to the VdL (Association of the Printed Circuit Board Industry) and the Electronic Components and Systems Group of the ZVEI.

Meanwhile, the PCB market for the first quarter of the year is at the same level as last year.

However, incoming orders slid by 9% compared to February, but VdL and ZVEI attribute this to the large orders in the first half of last year from Asia.The demand remains flat; however VdL and ZVEI are optimistic of the German PCB market this year due to the new lead-free requirements. Book-to-bill ratio was 0.85 in March and 1.0 for the first quarter of the year.

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