SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Global semiconductor sales reached $12.5 billion in October 2002, a 1.8% sequential increase from the $12.3 billion in revenue achieved in September 2002 and a 20% increase from the $10.4 billion total recorded in October 2001, according to the latest monthly figures from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
But the growth rate has slowed. October's sales followed September sales up about 3.3% from the August sales total of $11.9 billion.
The flattening trend is all the more significant because the SIA does not broadly publish the monthly sales figures but numbers that are a three-month moving average of the monthly sales data. The SIA said that using a moving average is a mathematical technique to smooth the peaks and troughs that might otherwise be seen due to companies' monthly financial calendars.
The October numbers also show a change in regional behavior with Europe coming through as the hottest market, overtaking AsiaPacific and Japan.
Semiconductor sales in Europe grew 6.2% in October led by a strong wireless market, according to the SIA, while chip sales rose 1% in the Asia-Pacific market and sales were up 2% in Japan. Sales in the Americas rose just 0.5% and this is ascribed to a continuing migration of electronic equipment production from US-based facilities to the Asia Pacific region.
"Having achieved three quarters of continually rising growth, including 5.6% in the first quarter, 5.8% in the second and 8.2% growth in 2002's third quarter, our forecast calls for moderation in the year's final quarter, consistent with normal year-end patterns - steady but sustainable growth across broad product sectors," said George Scalise, SIA president, in a statement.
The wireless sector is growing the most briskly, the SIA said, and said this had driven the value of flash memory sales up 6.9% in a month while sales of DSPs were up 4.4% in October. Even components serving a sluggish PC market showed growth with DRAM sales up 1.2% and microprocessor revenue rising 6.5%, the SIA said.