Business leaders are more optimistic about annual industry profitability with 78% expecting an increase (up 7% from 2012). The survey saw a 50% jump (to 34%) of respondents forecasting 6% to 10% profit growth in the industry as a whole. Six percent of respondents expect a decrease in industry profitability in 2014.
Chip executives also expect broadening geographic markets and reduced dependence on the US and Europe for customer and revenue growth, the release stated. China will increase in importance as an end market for chip revenue growth over the next three years.
"The U.S. and China are both No. 1 but the biggest change this year comes with a stronger optimism with respect to growth in China," Matuszak said. "A year ago, the economy had stagnated a bit. This year... we did see China as the biggest single increase year over year."
Fifty-five percent of respondents called China the most important end market for 2014, up from 46% in the 2012 survey. Fifty-six percent said the United States is the most important end market.
China was also cited by 59% of respondents as the top market for employment growth, while the U.S. came in second with 48%. More industry professionals cited India (31%) and Korea (24%) as growing in headcount than in previous surveys.
Asked about the industry's expectations for employment growth, Executives forecast moderate workforce expansion overall in 2014, though those that forecast expansion greater than 10% dropped significantly.
In addition, 73% of respondents, compared to two thirds last year, anticipate an increase in the number of merger and acquisition deals in the industry in 2014. Forty-five percent of those respondents expect a 1% to 10% increase in mergers and acquisitions.
More than three fourths expect semiconductor-related R&D spending to increase in the next fiscal year, similar to last year.
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times