LONDON The three-month average of global sales of semiconductors in February was $22.04 billion down 1.3 percent from the equivalent figure in January 2009 and up 56.2 percent from February 2009, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Asia-Pacific region showed the strongest growth followed by the Americas, Europe and Japan in that order.
The top line number was slightly below expectations but reflect continued progress in the recovery of semiconductor market demand. Bruce Diesen, an analyst at Carnegie Group (Oslo, Norway), had predicted the February three-month average would come in at $22.15 billion.
The SIA reports numbers from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) as a three-month average of the actual sales numbers. The SIA argues that this smoothes out the data which would otherwise display the effects of in-quarter reporting that tend to treat March, June, September and December as five-week months.
"The February sales numbers reflect continued recovery of sales of semiconductors, with demand principally driven by growth in sales of electronic products in emerging economies," said SIA president George Scalise, in a statement. "Unit sales of the two leading demand drivers for semiconductors personal computers and cell phones are now projected to grow in the low- to mid-teens in 2010. While the 56 percent year-on-year growth reflected in the February sales number is encouraging, it is important to note that January and February of 2009 marked the low point for the semiconductor industry during the worldwide economic downturn. There are encouraging signs that the global economic recovery will continue, and we remain cautiously optimistic that there is upside potential for growth beyond our November forecast for 2010," Scalise concluded.
The Asia-Pacific region grew far stronger than the other three regions measured by WSTS and published by the SIA. Asia-Pacific's three-month average semiconductor sales figure for February was $12.11 billion, up 78.6 percent from the equivalent figure in February 2009.