Green Machine

Dominique Numakura correctly assesses the struggles manufacturers and suppliers are having grappling with volatile currencies.

In his EPTE Newsletter this week, he points out how the dollar has dropped 20% against the yen in the past six months (it’s also dropped about 13% against China’s yuan in the past year, and we all know the plunge the greenback has taken against the euro).

As Numakura notes, the falling dollar for exporters by slicing their budgets – and thanks to skyrocketing commodities prices, finding room to wring out cost and make up the difference is near impossible.

And the capper is that American companies, having outsourced their manufacturing in spades over the past decade, have little in the way of goods to offer to take advantage of the lower dollar.

The winners in this game are the currency traders. Numakura’s money (ahem) statement: “Currently, the amount of currency traded is two orders larger than the actual trading of goods.”

Not good.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow