Hi Peter - the just updated Cowan LRA model's ales growth forecast estimate is not quite as bearish for ABI's 2012 global semi sales growth. The latest run of the model using WSTS's just published actual worldwide semiconductor June sales of $26.329 billion predicts that 2012's sales should come in at $296.97 billion.
This sales expectation corresponds to a yr-o-yr sales growth for 2012 of minus 0.85 percent which is considerably more bullish than ABI's prediction of "up to a minus 5 percent" decline in sales compared to 2011. However, the model's latest pronostication for 2012's sales growth dropped from last month's estimate of plus 0.1 percent - essentially flat sales growth for 2012 relative to 2011's sales of $299.52 billion.
Mike C. (independent semi market watcher and developer of the Cowan LRA Model for forecasting global semiconductor sales)
Indeed much will hinge on 3Q12, which SHOULD show 8 to 10 percent sequential growth.
And then there is the predicted 4Q12 downturn based on the expectation of lackluster buying in 3Q12.
We have to look to economies such as China's to be bellwhether.