APRIL 9--According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; San Jose, CA; www.semichips.org), worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $15.5 billion for February 2001, a decrease of nearly 7% from the January 2001 level of $16.6 billion. However, the February 2001 sales topped the February 2000 level of $14.6 billion by almost 6%.
The factors driving the present decelerating sales are reflected in every semiconductor product sector and geographic region. Compared to January 2001, the February 2001 sales for the Americas dropped 7.3%; for Asia Pacific, 7.1%; for Japan, 6.8%; and for Europe, 6.3%.
The SIA global sales report, which is a three-month moving average of sales activity, also indicated negative factors for all regions. The Asia-Pacific region decreased 18.4%; the Americas, 15.2%; Japan, 15%; and Europe, 12%. The moving average is a mathematical technique that smoothes the variations due to companies' monthly financial calendars. Nevertheless, the worldwide semiconductor industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 17% over the past 40 years.