US dips in chip market's fourth quarter flatness

February 04, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
US dips in chip market's fourth quarter flatness
The Americas region showed particular weakness in December three-month averaged sales numbers provided by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reporting figures compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.

The global chip market was flat compared to a year before and down sequentially. The three-month averaged sales for the month of December 2018 reached $38.2 billion, up 0.6 percent over the three-month average for December 2017, but down 7.0 percent compared to the three-month average for November 2018.

But by geography the Americas region showed a strong year-on-year decline in sales; a fall of 6.2 percent while Asia-Pacific excluding China and Japan also fell. This may reflect a strong influence of the smartphone on those regions general market fortunes. The Europe, Japan and China regions – broader applications bases including automotive and industrial – sustained year-on-year market growth.

The December three-month averaged sales are equivalent to final quarter sales for the year.

Three-month average of sales for December and November 2018. Source: SIA/WSTS.

The fourth-quarter sales of $114.7 billion were 0.6 percent higher than the total from the fourth quarter of 2017, but 8.2 percent less than the third quarter of 2018. This resulted in full year 2018 global chip sales of $468.8 billion, an increase of 13.7 percent compared to the 2017 total.

"Market growth slowed during the second half of 2018, but the long-term outlook remains strong," said John Neuffer, CEO of the SIA, in a statement. "Semiconductors continue to make the world around us smarter and more connected, and a range of budding technologies – artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, among many others – hold tremendous promise for future growth."

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