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Inventory issues fail to hamper chip biz growth

Researcher ups 2004 forecast - again

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Market watcher Gartner has upped its 2004 global chip sales forecast to $226bn, the company said yesterday.

The tweak represents an increase in sales over 2003 of 27.4 per cent, up from Gartner's June figure of 25 per cent.

The increases in inventory noted by industry players and observers at the end of Q2 are not sufficient to cause concern, Gartner said, entering only the low end of what it calls its 'caution zone'. Inventory growth accompanied by slowing sales would have been worrying, the researcher admitted, but its raised sales forecast suggests it sees no sign of such a slowdown.

Gartner is sticking by its most recent forecast of 15 per cent revenue growth in 2005 over 2004, up from the 13.3 per cent it predicted in February this year.

Market watcher IC Knowledge, meanwhile, yesterday reiterated its own 2005 forecast of 20 per cent - well beyond most predictions for next year.

However, the company has lowered its 40 per cent plus forecast for 2004 slightly on the back of rising oil prices. ®

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