LONDON – The three-month average for global chip sales in February was $23.25 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent from February 2012 when sales were $22.93 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). However, the year-on-year growth occurred in the America's region – 1.6 percent – and the Asia-Pacific region – 6.7 percent – with Europe's sales falling 1.5 percent and Japan's falling by 15.7 percent (see table below).
Global averaged chip sales in February also fell back sequentially, although this was expected due to seasonality – the short month of February which also usually contains the Chinese New Year.
The averaged global sales number for February 2013 was 3.8 percent lower than the averaged January 2013 total of $24.17 billion, reflecting seasonal trends, but year-to-date sales through February 2013 were 2 percent higher than at the same point in 2012.
Monthly data is given by the SIA as a three-month average, although the source of the data, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it smoothes out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of the quarters and peaks at the ends of the quarters.
"Despite persistent economic uncertainty, the global semiconductor industry is off to a promising start in 2013 – led by strength in memory sales – and is ahead of last year's pace," said Brian Toohey, president and CEO of the SIA, in a statement.
Regionally, year-over-year sales increased in Asia Pacific (6.7 percent) and the Americas (1.6 percent), but decreased in Europe (-1.5 percent) and Japan (-15.7 percent). Sales increased in Europe (1.4 percent) compared to the previous month, but decreased in Asia Pacific (-3.6 percent), Japan (-5 percent) and the Americas (-6.2 percent).
Click on image to enlarge.
February 2013 three-month average sales (in dollar-billions) compared on a yearly, monthly and previous-quarter basis. Source: SIA and WSTS.
"daleste" - note that the plus 5.4% sales growth number that you invoke (in your comment above) is for the month of March (based on the model's next-month's sales forecast of $27.831 billion) versus March 2012, that is, year-over-year! It does not refer to a quarter as you stated. Again, stay tuned to see how this result "turns out."
Regards, Mike C.
Hi Peter (again) - since you mentioned quarterly compares, namely 1Q13 versus 1Q12, the model is predicting 1Q13 sales of $72.128 billion. Therefore year-over-year sales growth is expected to come in at plus 3.3 percent. Additionally, sequential sales growth, that is 1Q13 versus 4Q12, is expected to be minus 2.8 percent. The forecasted 1Q13 sales estimate implies that March's actual sales is forecasted to be $27.831 with a corresponding yr-over-yr sales growth prediction of plus 5.4 percent. Thus stay tuned for next month's sales number for "verification" of the model's predictive capabilities.
Thanks for the extra insight and analysis.
Interesting to note that January was corrected upwards.
In addition it should be noted that movement of holidays associated with the Chinese New Year into January and then back into February can create anomalies. Comparing first quarter with first quarter should be a good indicator of how 2013 is going.
Hi Peter - the February 2013's ACTUAL global semi sales came in at $21.102 billion as gleamed by back-calculating from the 3MMA sales numbers for both January and February as reported by the SIA, namely $24.17 billion and $23.25 billion, respectively. It should be noted that the January 2013's actual sales number was revised upwards slightly relative to last month's actual sales result of $22.824 billion as published by the WSTS. Plugging in these actual sales into the Cowan LRA forecasting model yields an updated 2013 sales forecast estimate of $303.6 billion which is down quite dramatically compared to last month's sales forecast estimate of $310.7 billion. Consequently, 2013's updated sales growth expectation dropped to plus 4.1 percent compared to last month's prognostication of plus 6.6 percent.
Mike Cowan (Independent semi industry market watcher and developer of the Cowan LRA Model for forecasting global semiconductor sales and sales growth numbers - updated each month)
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