Figures just in from the Semiconductor Industry Association show that chip sales grew 37 percent from a year ago to $25.2 billion. But while this would appear to be good news, the monthly gain was just 1.2 percent above June sales of $24.9 billion which indicates that things are starting to slow down.
So far this year sales are $169.2 billion, up 46.7 percent from $115.3 billion in the first seven months of 2009. In June, sales were up 47 percent from a year ago.
SIA President Brian Toohey said that while the rest of the economy was slowing down the continued proliferation of semiconductors into a broad range of products has enabled the industry to keep getting bigger. He added, “Although recent public statements from a number of major manufacturers have emphasized limited visibility for the near-term, we continue to expect that industry growth for 2010 will be in line with our mid-year forecast of 28.4 percent.” Intel last week announced a downward forecast, which was lower than analysts and the company had expected.
So what Toohey is telling us is that the growth of the first half of the year will be followed by a slow down in the second half. Comparing figures to last year was preety pointless because the world economy was down the loo for most of the year.
Economists outside the tech industry see semiconductor sales as a bellweather for the global economy, however in this case it is starting to look like the industry can make a bob or two while the rest of the world is not having a good time.