LONDON – The three-month average of worldwide sales of semiconductors was $24.67 billion in April 2011, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). This was below expectations and the SIA ascribed the below seasonal performance partly to the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake that occurred in March. The SIA also warned that higher fuel and food costs may be affecting consumer spending on manufactured goods in general.
The three-month average of $24.67 billion for April 2011 was a 2.2 percent decline from the prior month when sales were $25.22 billion, and an increase of 3.9 percent from April 2010 when sales were $23.74 billion. EE Times had expected April three-month average sales to come in at between $25.3 and $25.5 billion, Bruce Diesen of Carnegie Group (Oslo, Norway) had forecast a figure of $25.3 billion and analyst Mike Cowan's linear regression analysis model had forecast $24.69 billion.
"Although month-over-month sales saw a slight decline, we remain optimistic given that the industry has increased sales compared to the same month last year," said Brian Toohey, president of the SIA, in a statement. "We expect moderate growth to continue through the remainder of the year."
The month-over-month results are slightly below seasonal patterns in part due to the natural disaster in Japan. The recovery of the supply chain should show up the second half of 2011, the SIA said.
"Overall, higher fuel and food costs have led to a decrease in consumers’ discretionary funds. This trend could be a factor in the overall softening of growth across all U.S.-based manufacturing industries," the SIA said. It added that it would release an updated semiconductor market growth forecast for the period 2011 to 2014 from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization in early June.
The SIA and the European Semiconductor Industry Association publish three-month averaged sales figures to smooth out the monthly data that would otherwise show troughs at the beginnings of the quarters and peaks at the ends of the quarters.