Global chip sales growth ebbs in Dec: Survey
Global chip sales in December fell from November levels as last year's rapid chip industry expansion slowed in the fourth quarter due to inventories and pricing pressure, an industry group said on Monday.
Sales totalled $18.37 billion, 3.5 per cent lower than in November, but still up 14.6 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) group said in a statement.
The WSTS is an alliance of the world's main chip makers, representing 85 per cent of global sales.
Looking at year-on-year comparisons, December growth was well below the 28 per cent increase for the year as whole, due to deteriorating trading conditions at the year-end.
This trend also showed in the performance during the fourth quarter, which is traditionally the year's strongest period.
The worldwide semiconductor market in the fourth quarter decreased by 0.8 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2004.
Semiconductor manufacturers have said in recent weeks that inventories have now returned to normal levels, which should help their performance.
Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics and Philips Electronics have all issued guidance for quarter-on-quarter revenue declines in the usually much slower first quarter, with the midpoints of their forecast ranges lying between five and eight per cent.