LONDON Semiconductor sales in April were up 15.6 percent on the previous month, if the fact that March was a 5 week month is factored in, according to market research group Future Horizon (Sevenoaks, England).
The actual figures for March 2009 showed a 7.6 percent decline.
That would make the April performance the strongest month-on-month growth since April 1955, according to Future Horizons' June market report.
However, there is a proviso. "Given the still delicate state of the global economy, this growth is not however directly driven by increased end-user demand, instead it is purely a correction to the steep Q4-08/Q1-09 inventory declines," says the report.
The implication being that "the markets clearly over-reacted to the September 2008 global economic collapse, sucking the supply chain dry, paving the way for this counter-balancing period of inventory replenishment."
Judging by historical trends, Future Horizons believes this inventory replenishment will last through to the end of the third quarter of this year. "Beyond that, growth will depend on the underlying end-market demand," the market trackers suggest.
Whilst much of the current industry tittle-tattle focuses on the 'green shoots of recovery debate (are there/aren't there?) and/or the 'shape of the downturn' (V, U, W, sharp, stretched, extended, etc), Future Horizons says industry needs to focus on a more sober look at the underlying trends.
The group is now forecasting growth of between 4 to 5 percent for the second quarter, compared with the decline of 2 percent predicted in January.
"If true, this would represent a material change to our 2009 forecast , improving it from minus 28 to minus 21.3 percent, assuming that the second half of the year
rolled out as planned, and removing most of the down-side risk potentials."