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ABI Predicts RFID Growth Despite Economic Slowdown

RFID revenues will reach $5.3 billion in 2008 and $9.8 billion in 2013 according to a forecast released today by ABI Research. It predicts growth rates of 25 percent or higher for the item-level tagging, contactless payment, asset tracking, RTLS and cargo tracking segments of the industry.
Nov 03, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 3, 2008—New RFID revenue data and forecasts released today by ABI Research show worldwide sales will reach $5.3 billion this year and that five high-profile segments of the industry -- item-level tagging, contactless payments, asset tracking, RTLS and cargo tracking -- will experience growth of at least 25 percent through next year. ABI predicts the overall industry will have a 15 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2008 through 2013, when annual revenues will reach $9.8 billion.

"We're not seeing much of a financial impact on the RFID industry from the overall economic situation right now," ABI Research director Mike Liard told RFID Update. "There are a lot of bright spots in RFID."

Liard said overall RFID industry growth is tempered more by slow growth in high-volume, mature applications such as access control, automobile immobilization and vehicle identification, than it is by current economic conditions.

"To a casual observer the five-year CAGR for the RFID market as a whole may not seem impressive at face value. In this case, however, ABI Research notes that traditional applications with single-digit and low-double digit five-year compound annual growth rates continue to dominate current and near-term RFID market revenue share. In terms of overall market growth, if these 'traditional' applications -- access control, automatic vehicle identification, automobile immobilization, and ID documents -- are removed from the equation, the 2008-2013 CAGR for total RFID systems revenue exceeds 20%," Liard said in ABI's announcement.

Item-level tagging revenues have the highest growth rate in the industry, followed by contactless payment, each growing more than 30 percent annually, according to Liard. ABI reduced its item-level projections for the pharmaceutical industry after California delayed new drug tracking requirements, but the downward revision was offset by strong growth forecasts for item-level tagging for apparel, footwear and anti-counterfeiting applications.

ABI released the data as part of its quarterly RFID forecasting service. The data is separate from a survey ABI released in September that found end users expected to increase their RFID spending levels 28 percent next year (see Survey Finds Major Shifts in RFID Adoption Trends).
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