LONDON The three-month moving average of global chip sales is expected to come in $15.2 billion in April, up by 3.4 percent from the $14.7 billion reported in March, according to analysts at Carnegie Group (Oslo, Norway). This would be down 27 percent on the three-month figure for April 2008, but a smaller annual decline to those recorded in the first quarter of 2009.
However, actual April chip sales probably fell 22 percent year-on-year, considerably better than the 32 percent fall in March. Carnegie maintained its forecast that chip sales in 2009 will fall by 13 percent compared with 2008 as expressed in dollar terms.
Better prices for memory chips, and volumes for handsets, PCs and car electronics should contribute to the improvement, which has led to some component shortages, especially in PCs and LCD TVs, according to Bruce Diesen, an analyst at Carnegie.
"In this down cycle, wafer starts are falling much more than dollar chip sales, which is highly unusual, but points to a potentially bigger inventory rebound," he said.