After two years of double-digit growth, the world market for electro-mechanical and solid-state relays contracted by about 3.6% in 2012 to approximately $3.35 billion, according to a new report from IHS's IMS Research.
This is the first decline since 2009, but growth is expected to return to all regional markets in 2013, increasing by 5.2% to reach $3.54 billion.
The report — measuring automotive, industrial (socket-mount), solid-state and PCB mount relay designs — found that the markets for these products retreated in all major regions in 2012. The Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) territory showed the largest decline, down 6.2%, which far exceeded the 2.9% fall experienced in the Americas. But the largest reversal occurred in Asia-Pacific, where very high growth of more than 24% in 2011 was succeeded by a 2% loss overall in 2012.
"Growth is expected to return in every regional market in 2013," predicts Robert Carter, switchgear analyst at IHS. "After this point, stabilized annual growth of around 2-3% in both EMEA and the Americas, along with a modest 6 to 8% expansion in Asia-Pacific, is expected to push the market for relays to almost $4.5 billion by 2017."