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U.S. buoys weak foreign market for instruments.

Deepening recessions in Europe and Japan are affecting analytical instrument sales, according to a recent report by the Analytical Instrument Association, Arlington, VA.

Most U.S.-based instrument suppliers had small improvements in 1992 over their sales in 1991, while many foreign-based suppliers lost sales, according to Mike Duff, author of the report. Weak foreign demand also depressed most U.S. manufacturers' total sales.

"Most European instrument suppliers with a heavy dependence on European sales, such as Fisons, Pharmacia, and Oxford Analytical, had a tough 1992, and many were restructured," says Duff. The European market is still in poor shape, and the recession may be deepening. Many auto companies have more planned layoffs.

"We see continuing improvements in the U.S. and a more promising outlook for Far East markets," says Doug Forsyth, spokesman for Hewlett-Packard (H-P) Analytical Products, Palo Alto, CA. "German reunification-based economic problems, however, continue to depress our European sales."

About 38% of H-P's instrument revenues come from European sales, with about 43% from U.S. sales.

H-P sources also expressed concern about the impact of pending health care legislation in the U.S. and whether drug companies will be able to maintain their current levels of R&D.

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Title Annotation:analytical instruments
Publication:R & D
Date:Dec 1, 1993
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