December orders, billings, book to bill all rise

JANUARY 29--The North American book-to-bill ratio rose again for the month of December, reaching 0.78, up from November's 0.73, according to the December 2001 Express Report, published by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI; San Jose, CA; www.semi.org).

JANUARY 29--The North American book-to-bill ratio rose again for the month of December, reaching 0.78, up from November's 0.73, according to the December 2001 Express Report, published by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI; San Jose, CA; www.semi.org). That means that $78 worth of new orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.

According to SEMI, North American equipment companies posted $652.4 million in orders during December 2001, up from November's revised $609.3 million. December's orders total is the largest since August 2001's $714.6 million.

Worldwide billings in December 2001 were $834.9 million, just higher than November's revised $829.5 million, but lower than October's $895.5 million.

"There are some indications that capacity utilization and unit volume output have improved from the 2001 lows, in particular for some segments of the assembly and test markets," commented Stanley Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. "Chip and equipment companies, however, remain cautious about the near-term outlook because of uncertainty with the overall economic recovery."

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