IC sales declined the least amount in January this year than any other in the last 21 years, according to IC Insights. The seasonally down period potentially sets a trend for the rest of the year. The market research firm believes that barring oil prices continuing above US$100 per barrel the semiconductor industry could be tracking double digit growth in 2011.
According to data just released by WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics), worldwide January 2011 IC sales were US$21.4 billion, 16% greater than in January 2010 and a sequential decline of only 4.5% from December 2010. IC Insights noted that from 1990-2010, the average January/December IC sales decline had been 17%.
IC Insights said that when using the actual January 2011 IC sales figure and incorporating the 1999-2010 average sequential growth rate for the months of February (3%) and March (28%), this leads to a 1Q11 IC market of $71.6 billion. This would then represent a 14% surge over 4Q10, a new 27-year 1Q/4Q high.
Taking a “worst case” scenario by using the poorest sequential monthly IC market growth rates for February and March since 1999 (i.e., February of 2007 at -7% and March of 2005 at 19%) would still yield a 1Q11/4Q10 IC market growth rate of 3%.
According to the market research firm, the only problem facing the industry is if oil prices stay above US$100 per barrel, which would put added pressure on consumers and businesses and possibly dampen the current global economic recovery.