Averaged global chip sales for July rose 5.1 percent over the same period in 2012, with a US boom more than compensating for a declining Japanese market, according to data from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization reported by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The data also provides a glimmer of hope for Japan as its market showed strong growth compared with the previous quarter.
The three-month average global semiconductor sales for July rose 5.1 percent from the year before, to $25.53 billion. This came in considerably above a prediction of $24.9 billion given in an email to EE Times by Bruce Diesen, an analyst with investment bank Carnegie AS in Oslo, Norway.
In the previous averaged month the annual rise was 2.1 percent .(See: US Strength Lifts Q2 Global Chip Sales.) Taken with the latest WSTS data this indicates that the pace of market growth was accelerating in July although there have been some warnings given over the impact of possible inventory correction in the market and moderating demand in the smartphone and tablet computer sectors.
Three-month averaged sales for July (in billions of dollars) compared with the previous year, month, and quarter. (Source: SIA/WSTS)
The geographic picture shows a boom in the US more than compensating for laggardly Japan. On an annual basis chip sales rose 21.5 percent in the Americas (a region dominated by the US market) while falling 18.6 percent in Japan. Japan's drop reflects both the devaluation of the yen and the restructuring and sale of a number of Japanese semiconductor companies.
However, there was a better, more recent indicator from Japan. Japan's quarterly sequential growth was the strongest of all the regions with sales for the three months of May, June, and July up 7.9 percent compared the three months immediately prior.
"Sales increased in all regions and across every product category, and macroeconomic indicators bode well for continued growth during the remainder of 2013," said Brian Toohey, president and CEO of the SIA, in the press release.
The SIA gives monthly data as a three-month average, though WSTS (the source of the data) tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional industry bodies use averaged data because it smoothes out the monthly data, which typically shows troughs at the beginning of a quarter and peaks at the end.