The IPC report, titled “A Reverse Trend in Regional Sourcing in the Worldwide Electronic Interconnect Industry,” polled executives and marketing professionals at electronics manufacturing services firms, printed circuit board manufacturers, and supplier companies in North America and Europe.

According to Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research , the survey’s main aim was to confirm recent speculation within the electronic interconnect industry that some customers may be changing their sourcing patterns and shifting some business back to North America and Europe. The report takes it a step further by estimating the financial impact on the industry and identifying the drivers of the trend. “Although the intent was not to produce statistically significant data, we definitely saw some evidence of regional shifts,” she noted.

The respondents estimated that an average of 2.5% growth in 2007 and 2008 was attributable to this trend. The issue that was cited most often as the primary driver of this trend was quality concerns. Other key contributors were transportation costs, currency exchange rates, long supply lines, and communication difficulties. A total of 50 companies responded to the survey. The full report is available in the members-only area of IPC’s website.