The latest run of the Cowan LRA Model's sales forecast for 2014 came in at $339.98 billion which equates to a sales growth expectation for 2014 of 11.3 percent. This latest sales growth forecast as gleamed from the model is up quite dramatically from last month's sales growth estimate of 3.6 percent which was based upon a Jan 2014 sales forecast estimate of $23.36 billion. The actual global semi sales result for January as reported by the WSTS came in at a much higher sales number of $25.11 billion resulting in a 3Xstronger sales growth forecast for 2014. The 2014 quarterly sales and yr-o-yr sales growth numbers are summarized in the following table compared to the corresponding 2013 final results per the WSTS's Dec 2013 HBR.
Mike Cowan, independent semi-industry market watcher and creator of the Cowan LRA forecasting Model
Hi Zewde - you are correct, the difference is subtle and in the eyes of the beholder. Either method - employing the 3MMA sales result or the actual sales number - for tracking the growth of the industry is valid. For example invoking the 2014 yr-o-yr sales growth using the Jan 2014 3MMA result, as the SIA points out, is 8.8 percent while using the Jan actual sales number turns out to be a sales growth of 8.5 percent compared to 2013 - a subtle difference of 0.3 percentage points; but lower. Obviously I prefer using the YTD sales approach as the measure of yr-o-yr sales growth each month for tracking the industry's growth trajectory since inherently, I believe, it better reflects the health of global semi sales growth especially as the year plays out, that is, as additional months of sales are reported. I guess "whatever floats your boat" methodology of the two approaches comes into play.
Per the subject the SIA global semiconductor sales number for Jan 2014 that is quoted ($26.28 billion) in the above article represents a three-month moving average (3MMA) sales result. The SIA in its monthly Global Sales Report (GSR) normally reports the 3MMA per the following qualification: "All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represents a three-month moving average." The actual sales number for Jan 2014 came in at $25.105 billion as calculated from the Jan 2014 3MMA sales number and the actual sales results for Nov 2013 and Dec 2013 previously reported by the WSTS in their Dec 2013 HBR, Historical Billings Report. Therefore, although the 3MMA sales number for Jan 2014 was an historical high sales result for Jan, the actual sales number came in as a second high compared to Jan 2011's actual sales number of $25.173 billion.