SAN JOSE -- Worldwide semiconductor sales began 2002 just like it ended 2001--unchanged in January at a total of $10.01 billion compared to $10.01 billion in December, said the Semiconductor Industry Association today. Chip sales in the Asia Pacific region and Americas offset drops in Europe and Japan, said the San Jose-based trade group.
"Flat to slow growth of semiconductor sales in the first quarter of this year is in line with expectations," said George Scalise, SIA president. "Our forecast calls for the second quarter to be slightly stronger with accelerating growth in the second half of 2002.
"In February, total sales in the DRAM market rose almost 24% over January, as prices continued to recover from cyclical lows, a trend that was reflected in all regional sales figures," Scalise added.
Chip revenue growth in the Americas was the strongest in January among regional markets with sales increasing 2% to $2.52 billion compared to $2.47 billion in December, based on a three-month moving average used by the SIA. But compared to a year ago, Americas' chip sales were 47% below $4.75 billion in January 2001, said the new report.
The Asia Pacific region--now the world's largest market for semiconductors--saw chip sales increase by just 0.3% to $3.41 billion in January from $3.40 billion in December, said the SIA, but revenues in that market was 5.9% lower than $3.62 billion in January 2001.
Chip sales in Japan dropped 1.2% to $1.99 billion in January vs. $2.01 billion in December. Compared to last year, Japan's semiconductor sales were 47.2% below $3.77 billion in January 2001, said the SIA.
Europe's semiconductor revenues fell 1.5% to $2.10 billion in January compared to $2.13 billion in December, and chip sales were 37.3% lower than $3.34 billion in January 2001, said the SIA report, which is based on data tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
Worldwide semiconductor sales were down 35.3% on an annual basis from $15.48 billion in January 2001, which was still a relatively strong month before the industry recession deepened last year.
"Strong consumer spending for mobile phones, DVD's, and digital cameras continued to move chip sales slightly upward," said SIA's Scalise. "Although business investment has yet to pick up, consumer confidence and inventory replenishing continue to rise, driving the early stages of the overall recovery."