Europe's monetary and debt woes are now clearly having an effect on its ability to do business – which is a yet more frightening prospect, than the crisis we are already living with.
Because without the ability to do business Europe cannot even continue to generate the value it currently does and which it already overpays itself for in its aggregate life style. In fact, Europe needs to do much more business, and export it, to pay for the life-style it gives itself and reduce the national debts.
It may seem an apocalyptic view but there is the evidence in the latest numbers from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, published by the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Globally the situation is not good with semiconductor sales in March, April and May (which are represented by the three-month average ascribed by the SIA to May) generally down. The Asia-Pacific region is down 1.9 percent on the same period in 2011. The Americas region is down 3.2 percent. Japan is up 0.4 percent.
But look at this, the European region is down 13.6 percent compared with a year before. In global statistics terms that is a major percentage change. The equivalent figures in March and April were 15.4 percent and 14.4 percent. Basically it appears that in 2012 Europe's drawn-out financial woes are driving a significant chunk of business out of the continent.
It is likely that startup businesses are not happening, particularly in such countries as Greece, Portugal and Spain. Similarly inward investors are putting any plans they have on hold. "Let's not open up in Europe right now, best to see how the dust settles." And multinational companies are likely to be shifting their weight off their European foot and on to another, most likely in the Asia-Pacific region.