Global chip sales growth starts to slow

November's world semicon sales down two per cent on October's

The slowdown in the global semiconductor market began to bite last November, with the industry recording its first month-on-month sales slippage since February 2000.

Still, with sales way higher than previous years' figures, the business doesn't have to worry just yet.

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, chip sales in November 2000 hit $18.28 billion, up 28.4 per cent on November 1999's result of $14.24 billion.

However, on the basis of previous months' results, the growth rate should have been higher. Compared to October 2000, the North American market was down five per cent ($5.6 billion from $5.9 billion), and Asia-Pacific down 3.5 per cent ($4.4 billion from $4.6 billion).

Only Europe and Japan saw month-on-month growth. In Europe's case it was a barely-troubled-the-scorer 0.1 per cent, with sales of $3.81 billion in November 2000. Japan saw 1.7 per cent growth ($4.36 billion from $4.43 billion).

Globally, however, sales dropped two per cent on October 2000.

Despite the dip, the SIA reckons 2000 as a whole will still prove to have been highly lucrative for the chip industry, which will have achieved some $205 billion in sales - an increase of 37.1 per cent over 1999.

However, that level of growth appears unlikely to be achieved this year. The SIA is predicting growth of around 17 per cent for the first quarter of calendar 2001 - nothing to be sneezed at, to be sure, but still a marked reduction in the rate at which chip sales have been accelerating. ®