LONDON – The three-month average of worldwide sales of semiconductors was $25.26 billion in March 2011, a 2.5 percent increase from the prior month when sales were $24.65 billion, and an increase of 8.6 percent from March 2010 when sales were $23.27 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
It appears that the averaged sales figure for February has been revised downward from $25.19 billion.
Sales in the first quarter of 2011 reached $75.8 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent over last year's first quarter sales of $69.8 billion and a sequential increase of 0.4 percent over the prior quarter.
"At the close of the first quarter of this year we are very encouraged by the performance of the global and domestic semiconductor industry," said Brian Toohey, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, in a statement.
The above numbers are based on a three-month average of the actual sales in the nominal month and the two preceding months. The SIA and the European Semiconductor Industry Association use an average to smooth out the monthly data that would otherwise show troughs at the beginning of the quarters and peaks at the end of the quarters.
I think it is mainly seasonal.
In fact, a contraction in Q1 after Q4 is quite common, so one could argue that the world market is ahead of the game with a 0.4 percent quarterly sequential growth.
Although Japan is not doing well on a sequential or year-on-year basis this cannot be much to do with the earthquake of March 11. The generation of March numbers by averaging January, February and March minimizes that effect.
However, the apparent downward revision of February averaged sales is a concern. I await updated WSTS numbers.