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Chip industry turnaround coming in Q4

IC sales rising despite gloom

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The semiconductor industry's recovery will commence during Q4, despite the recent forecasts from industry organisations that 2003 will experience significantly lower growth than expected, chip market watcher Advanced Forecasting (AF) has claimed.

The company points to the expansion of Asian foundries and rising IC sales - the latter hit 7.28 billion units last May, says AF, just five per cent below late 2000's sales peak.

That, reckons AF, is the key indicator that "a robust recovery" is on the cards. That recovery is already underway.

"Knowing the timing of the turning-point is crucial in order for companies to be able to prepare," said Rosa Luis, AF's director of marketing and sales. "Advanced Forecasting informed its clients that it would occur during Q4 2003, and we stand behind that forecast."

AF admits the recovery won't be as big as the growth rate experienced during the industry's last boom, between 1999 and 2000, which is handy given how far organisations like the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) group have both trimmed their 2003 growth predictions.

The WSTS knocked back its forecast from 16.6 per cent to 11.5 per cent. The SIA recently cut its expectations from 19.8 per cent to 10.1 per cent. It expects growth to rise to 16.8 per cent in 2004 - a long way from the steep increases seen in the last boom, but enough for AF to feel happy about reiterating its own broader forecast. ®

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