April electronics, computer sales edge upward
In April, U.S. electronics and computer manufacturers' sales were larger than first reported, and sales for all durable-goods producers jumped 3.7% from March, according to the Department of Commerce. This was expected after earlier strong April reports for retail sales, employment, and industrial production.
Computer & peripherals manufacturers boosted sales 2.9%, telecom equipment suppliers saw a 2.6% gain, and component manufacturers posted a 2.1% increase. No information was available for semiconductors because of continued data reporting problems with some major manufacturers. However, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported late Thursday that global chip sales in April rose 3.1% from March.
Motor vehicle shipments in April jumped 12%, while all other electronic component end markets averaged negligible growth for the sixth consecutive month.
Inventories held by computer manufacturers fell 2.1%, while telecom equipment and components manufacturers kept inventories steady. Surprisingly, telecom inventories, relative to sales, are nearly back to the minimum level reached in mid-2000. But computer manufacturers still have about a week too much inventory and component manufacturers are sitting on about three weeks more inventory than during their best performance two years ago.