SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Semiconductor Industry Association's three-month rolling average of worldwide chip sales for August played down what was in fact a spectacular sales month that makes growth for the full year over 2002 in the mid-teens of percent look more likely.
The month also marked a turn-around for the Americas geographic region, which showed sales ahead of the equivalent month in 2002 for the first time this year.
In August worldwide chip sales were $13.50 billion, according to the SIA's 'actual' numbers, a jump of 10.6 percent from July -- not the 4 percent presented in the rolling average -- and the sales were up a dramatic 17.5 percent from August 2002.
The SIA promulgates three-month moving averages of monthly sales activity to smooth variations due to companies' sales reporting calendars, which often make March, June, September and December five-week months, thereby inflating the numbers.
As a result of the strong August chip sales covering the eight-month period January to August were $99.77 billion, 12.4 percent ahead of the sales of $88.77 billion racked up during the same period in 2002.
The geographical diversity of fortune that has characterized the semiconductor market in 2003 altered in August with the Americas region staging a fight back. With August sales of $2.64 billion the Americas were 21.7 percent ahead of where they were in July 2003 and 6.9 percent ahead of August 2002 sales. With the great leap forward in sales it the region was able to overtake Europe, which scored $2.50 billion sales.
Japan's August was flat compared with July 2003 at $3.11 billion, although as August sales in Japan are usually lower than July's sales this is also an indicator of growing 2003 market. When compared with August 2002 Japan's sales were 14.3 percent ahead.
Despite the American turn-around Asia-Pacific continues to be the strongest market and showed it with August sales of $5.25 billion, 13.6 percent ahead of July 2003 and 24.1 percent ahead of August 2002.