Global manufacturers see chip shortage easing


Global manufacturers, including Hyundai Motor, factory robot builder ABB, and Swedish fridge maker Electrolux, see the semiconductor chip shortage easing, executives said Thursday, in a boost for manufacturers after a long struggle for components.

An increased supply of chips will reduce one burden facing an industry that is also battling raw material price inflation, a tight energy market and rising interest rates that are throwing a dampener on consumer demand.

Hyundai turned in its best quarterly profit in eight years on Thursday, boosted by the easing of a global chip shortage, which helped it resume overtime and weekend shifts at domestic plants. It now plans to step up vehicle production in the second half to meet consumer demand.

ABB, a Switzerland-based supplier to the automotive industry, said semiconductor chip bottlenecks were now easing as it reported its second-quarter earnings.

"The good thing to know, it is easing up," Chief Executive Bjorn Rosengren said about the semiconductor shortages, which he said were "severe" at the start of the year.

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said it expected the global semiconductor shortage to ease later this year, as it reported quarterly operating profit that beat market expectations.

"The overall direction in the semiconductor industry is positive at the moment, but we did continue to have constraints in the second quarter," Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said.

Although Electrolux missed second-quarter profit expectations on Thursday, hit by supply chain problems and a loss in its North American business, its Chief Executive Jonas Samuelson said the supply situation, including for semiconductors, looked better for the third and fourth quarter versus the preceding quarters.

"Step by step, we are coming back to a more normalized supply environment," he said.

(With input from Reuters)

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