BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Worldwide semiconductor sales exceeded expectations in October, rising 7% from the previous month to $15.43 billion, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization.
The European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) put out the numbers on Friday.
Although European sales were also up, the euro-dollar exchange rate continues to hurt euro currency companies. Europe's year-to-date sales expressed in euros are lower in 2003 than in 2002.
WSTS, EECA and the Semiconductor Industry Association all promulgate the three-month moving averages of monthly sales activity to smooth variations due to companies' sales reporting calendars. These often make March, June, September and December five-week months thereby inflating those month's numbers.
The strong 'averaged' October was the eighth month of increases and was 23.3% ahead of the same month in 2002 and helped achieve a year-to-date sales figure that was up 16.4% ahead of 2002, EECA said.
The demand for semiconductors was strong all across the board, translating into generally high billings for commodity products as well as for application specific chips. A wide spectrum of applications is now fueling the growth, especially in automotive, personal computer, consumer and wireless communications.
Since September 2003 the WSTS data contains micromechanical actuators in addition to sensors. This new product category has entered a significant volume already and adds an additional 1.2% year-to-date growth in comparison with last year.
European Semiconductor sales in October 2003 amounted to $2.97 billion according to WSTS, up 9.3% versus the previous month. This corresponds to a 20.8% increase compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date, semiconductor sales increased by 16.1% versus the same period last year.