Peter ClarkeEE Times Europe (03/04/2009 8:14 AM EST)
LONDON — The global market for semiconductors was $13.15 billion in January, down 31.2 percent from $19.11 billion in January 2008, according to 'actual' data from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
January's monthly sales figure was the lowest since July 2003, when sales were recorded by WSTS at $12.31 billion and the lowest January figure since January 2003, which saw sales of $10.94 billion worldwide.
The 31.2 percent year-on-year fall for January contrasts with the fall in averaged sales which was put at 28.6 percent by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for the fall in three-month averaged sales.
The SIA averaged November, December and January figures to produce its three-month average figure. The fact that the fall in actual sales was steeper than the fall in averaged sales suggests that the situation was continuing to deteriorate in January.
The SIA WSTS numbers as a three-month average. It argues that this smoothes out the data which would otherwise display the effect of in-quarter reporting that tend to treat March, June, September and December as five-week months. However, it is still possible to compare actual sales year-on-year and avoid such problems.