LONDON – The three-month average of global semiconductor sales was $25.03 billion in August, showing an increase of 0.7 percent from the prior month when averaged sales were $24.9 billion, according to numbers compiled by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics and quoted by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
This was ahead of analysts' expectations. Bruce Diesen, analyst with Carnegie Group (Oslo, Norway) had predicted a figure of $24.4 billion for August's three-month average, while analyst Michael Cowan had foreseen a range from $24.19 billon up to $26.12 billion. Nonetheless actual sales normally climb sequentially in August driving up the three-month average so an essentially flat result is still below the normal seasonal trend – but not as far below trend as had been feared by some market forecasters.
On a year-to-date basis sales grew 2.2 percent year-over-year. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average. The SIA and the European Semiconductor Industry Association publish monthly data as three-month-average figures. This makes the sales of any given month the average of the sales for that month and the previous two months. The SIA and ESIA prefer to present this data as it smoothes out the actual data that usually show troughs at the beginnings of the quarters and peaks at the ends of the quarters.
The results were ascribed to strong demand for tablet and personal computers and a recovery in Japanese chip sales.
"Sales in August were in large part driven by strong demand in tablets and PCs," said Brian Toohey, president, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Growth in these areas is encouraging, however lower consumer and industrial demand across a wide range of products and markets is keeping overall sales lower than expected at this point."
A strong month-to-month increase in sales from Japan due to recovery efforts and output from fabrication facilities after the natural disaster earlier this year helped to increase semiconductor sales throughout August. Additionally, due to the compounding effect of increased semiconductor content in cars, automotive application specific semiconductors have experienced double digit growth year-to-date.
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