PRAGUE, The Czech Republic " The three-month average of global semiconductor sales in March was $16.275 billion, according to numbers published by the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA), which cited statistics from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
The figure exceeded analysts' expectations and was up 4.4 percent versus the previous month. This results in an increase of 32.3 percent versus the same month in 2003.
February's average sales figure was 30.8 percent ahead of the same month a year before so the latest figures show market growth is still accelerating in March. A total annual growth rate for 2004 of more then 25 percent has become more and more likely.
WSTS, the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association and ESIA all promulgate chip industry sales figures as 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. And therefore March's figures " the average of January, February and March " also correlate to the actual first quarter sales of $48.82 billion. This growth was led by the Asia Pacific region with 45.8 percent, followed Americas region (25.1 percent), Japan (24.7 percent) with Europe bringing up the rear with 24.4 percent y-on-y growth, according to ESIA.
From an application point of view the main driving products were communications " wireless as well as wired " and PC related products. But also automotive performed better then the rest of the market, ESIA said.
European Semiconductor sales in March 2004 were US$ 3.145 billion according to WSTS, up 6.2 percent sequentially and up 24.4 percent compared to March 2003.