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December Chip Sales Flat; SIA Forecasts Growth In 2004

The three-month average of worldwide chip sales fell by 0.5 percent to $16.03 billion in December from $16.12 billion last November, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported Monday (Feb. 2).

Consumer electronics provided a boost in December with chips for flat screen TVs, DVD players. Other markets took a rest from large increases recorded in previous months, according to analysts.

SIA predicted that 2004 chip market would grow by more than 19 percent.

Its Global Sales Report numbers inlcude a three-month rolling average of the monthly sales activity. The SIA compiles three-month moving averages of monthly sales activity to smooth variations due to industry sales reporting calendars, which often make March, June, September and December five-week months, thereby inflating numbers for those months.

Despite the flat December, the market was up 28 percent compared with December 2002. Chip makers recorded an 11 percent fourth quarter sequential gain and the 2003 sales were up to $166.4 billion in 2003, up 18.3 percent from the $140.8 billion in 2002.

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