Chip sales chugged along for the first quarter and the month of March. The Semiconductor Industry Association reported that worldwide sales for the first quarter of 2013 were 0.9 percent higher from sales a year ago. Global sales for March 2013 were $23.48 billion, up 0.9 percent higher than $23.28 billion a year ago and up 1.1 percent from the previous month.
The news isn’t dramatic, but it shows that memory chip prices, which often swing widely, have stabilized. Chip sales are a bellwether for the whole $1 trillion electronics industry, as chips are used in almost everything electronic.
“Through the first quarter of 2013, the global semiconductor industry has seen modest but consistent growth compared to last year,” said Brian Toohey, the president and CEO of the SIA, the chip industry’s trade group. “Sales have increased across most end product categories, with memory showing the strongest growth. With recent indications that companies could be set to replenish inventories, we are hopeful that growth will continue in the months ahead. Regionally, the Americas slipped slightly in March after a strong start to the year, but Asia Pacific and Europe have seen impressive growth recently.”
Year-over-year sales increased 6.9 percent in Asia Pacific and 0.7 percent in Europe. But sales fell 1.5 percent in the Americas. Japan sales plummeted 18 percent, largely because of the devaluation of the Japanese yen. Sales in Europe increased by 5.7 percent compared to the previous month. Sales were up 1.7 percent in Asia Pacific from the previous month, but they fell 1.6 percent in Japan and down 1.9 percent in the Americas. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.