The global market for helium, an inert gas essential for medical resonance imaging (MRI), semiconductors, welding and other manufacturing and industrial uses, is growing at 2 percent per year. That is less than the anticipated production rate since new capacity is coming online and recent shortages have destroyed some demand, according to new research from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. IHS Markit researchers expect electronics manufacturers in China, South Korea and Taiwan to drive future helium demand. Semiconductor manufacturing, flat-panel display manufacturing, and optical-fiber manufacturing are all significant consumers of helium in Asian markets. North America is the largest producer and consumer of helium. In 2015, North America produced 53 percent, or 78 million cubic meters of helium, and consumed more than 42 percent of the global supply, or more than 71 million cubic meters. In terms of consumption, Europe follows North America with 19 percent of helium supply consumption.