The global chip market was down on an annual basis in both Q3 and Q4 of 2015, according to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) and some forecasters see the chip market continuing to contract throughout 2016 and into 2017 (see Global chip market to shrink for three years, says IHS ).
In February the three-month average of the global market for semiconductors fell to $26.02 billion, down 6.2 percent compared with the same figure in 2015. The year-on-year fall was steeper than the 5.8 percent decline recorded in January (see Chip market off to slow start in 2016 ).
The Americas region showed three-month averaged sales in February of $5.03 billion, down 19.3 percent from the same period a year before. Other geographic markets also dropped with the exception of China where the market managed to grow, but that growth fell back to 3.5 percent. China has been the one region able to achieve any growth in recent months (see China is chip market's only growth region ).
Three-month average of sales for February and January. Source: SIA/WSTS.
John Neuffer, CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said that sales also declined for the majority of product categories with the notable exception of microprocessors, for which sales increased year-on-year by 3.4 percent.
Monthly data is given by the SIA and ESIA as a three-month average, although the WSTS organization tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it evens out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of quarters and peaks at the ends of quarters.
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