Further confirming the effect of problems in Asia, three-month average bookings and billings for the North American semiconductor equipment industry were down by roughly equal amounts for February, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) said Wednesday. The industry posted a book-to-bill ratio of 0.92 (preliminiary) for February.
The revised number put out by SEMI for January is 0.93, down from the preliminary figure of 0.94. December's number was completed at 0.99, down from the 1 figure in last month's report.
Three-month average shipments decreased in February to $1.4 billion. The figure is 4 percent below the January 1998 level; on the other hand, it is 38 percent above the February 1997 level. Three-month average bookings also decreased in February 1998 to $1.3 billion. The bookings figure is 5 percent below the January 1998 level, but is still 17 percent above the
February 1997 level.
"The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 31 percent of the global market for equipment, and consequently, it's no surprise that events in the Asian financial markets may be impacting the equipment industry," said Dick Greene, principal analyst with SEMI. "Of course, suppliers are closely monitoring economic developments in that region and looking for the situation to stabilize."