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In brief The outlook for chip manufacturing gear makers improved slightly in July latest figures from trade group SEMI show.

Bookings in July were $1.02bn, while billings were $1.1bn, giving a book to bill ratio of 0.93. This compared to 0.9 the previous month, when billings stood at $1.15bn and bookings at $1.04bn. Billings have been sliding since the end of the year, however bookings appear to be improving, sticking above $1bn for three months on the trot.

SEMI's book to bill ratio is often taken as an indicator of where chip manufacturers think their markets are headed.

The trade group said bookings were running below the previous years, but above the year before that, and this “suggests that semiconductor manufacturers continue to be remain somewhat cautious.”®

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