The two full years of the pandemic ushered in an almost unprecedented period of volatility in the IT channel. New buying behaviours, from consumers and businesses alike, combined with supply chain constraints and component availability challenges to create a market very different from what had gone before.
Some regions fared better than others during the period. But now the dust has settled, it's all about seeing which markets are primed to bounce back fastest. CONTEXT's analysis of global desktop monitor unit sales growth in three regions points to an unstable year ahead.
Growth with caveats
The performance of the desktop monitor market improved significantly during the pandemic as government lockdowns forced businesses to support home working. At the same time, both workers and students with time on their hands at home, and little else to spend their income on, splurged on gaming monitors.
Now that the world has largely exited the pandemic, have those trends shifted considerably? Well, not quite. In the three regions we looked at, unit sales growth last year only exceeded that of 2019 in the MEA region. Here's the full breakdown:
Middle East and Africa (MEA), +25% growth: Africa is a tech hub on the rise, driven by fast-growing economies like Rwanda and Ethiopia. The Middle East is also turning to tech to help it transition away from being an oil-driven economy to a digital one. This helped to drive double-digit growth in display shipments from 2019 to 2022 and will continue in the year ahead.
China, -12% growth: The country suffered in 2022 from continued local lockdown rules, which have now finally been reversed, and a wide-ranging government tech crackdown at the end of 2020 which depressed the market. However, sales didn't decline last year versus 2019 by as much as feared, and there is cautious optimism about the coming year.
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), -39% growth: The region is predicted to avoid recession this year but has been hit hard by inflation, surging energy costs and a collapse in trade with Russia due to the war in Ukraine. Desktop shipments took a hit as a result, and the market remains fragile.
Over the coming quarters, caution is advised as different dynamics impact different regions in the display monitor market. Component shortages - especially for USB-C products - and macro-economic/geopolitical factors will continue to have an impact on sales. Strong business demand to support the return to office and hybrid working trends will help to keep some regions growing. But the extent of their expansion, and the impact of more negative trends, is still uncertain.
Stay tuned for more global market insight from CONTEXT.
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