Recent outbreak of Coronavirus in China might affect our industry in long-term. Apart, of course, general breakdown of society and other apocalyptic scenarios.
Let's take a look what is happening right now and what might happen in near future in our professional field
As of writing this, my top 3 Chinese PCB manufacturers (let's leave them anonymous, until they decide to sponsor my blog :) ) have closed for business at least until Feb 10th. Add this to the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations and we get quite a bit of backlog on PCB manufacturing. If the emergency persists beyond next week, there might be noticeable shortage of manufacturing capabilities, which would increase turnaround of local manufacturers (US/EU/AU, etc). Hopefully this won't lead to an extra massive price increase (since ordering locally already is 5-10 times more expensive than China) due to people competing for factory-time.
But this is immediate future. If we think about not only PCB/PCBA services, but also component and goods manufacturers being closed, then what logically follows, is increase in component costs and decrease in availability due to large companies (I'm looking at you, Apples and Samsungs of the world) buying off whole stocks everywhere. Top that with some creative market speculators, which drive this trend even further and... well, I would suggest you start stocking up right now for next half a year.
Goods manufacturers will have to catch up with the increased demand post-epidemic, which even further will affect this. Lack of parts would lead to lack of goods, which are raw material for further production (memory chips, hard drives, assembled systems).
It'll be interesting to see, how much of world's GDP gets affected by this outbreak, once economists get their numbers straight. Of course, only if general apocalypse does not get us first.