Chip Sales at Three-Year High


For all the news that sales of personal computers (PCs) and laptops are declining, chipmakers are doing all right, thank you very much. Semiconductor sales rose 4.6% in May to post their largest month-over-month gain in three years.

Sales totals come from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), which said that total sales reached $24.7 billion in May. That was up 1.3% from the $24.4 billion in sales toted up in May 2012. Year to date, chip sales are up 1.5%.

Monthly sales growth was highest in the Asia Pacific region, up 5.9%, followed by the Americas, where sales rose 5.6%. Sales in Japan grew by 0.9%, while sales in Europe rose just 0.3%.

Year-over-year Japanese sales fell 18.4%, but they rose 5.8% in Asia Pacific. Sales in the Americas rose 3%, and European sales rose a scant 0.1%.

On the basis of a three-month moving average, Asia Pacific sales were up 9.8%, European sales rose 5.5%, Americas sales rose 2.9% and Japanese sales fell 3.6%.

SIA's CEO said:

May was an unambiguously strong month for the global semiconductor industry, with growth across all regions and particularly encouraging increases in the Americas and Asia Pacific. Sales have remained ahead of last year's pace throughout 2013, indicating the increasing resiliency of the market.

The SIA's numbers do not break out sales by end use, but it is pretty safe to assume that lower cost chips for smartphones and other mobile devices are leading the growth. Still, the chipmakers must be selling a lot of these to keep pushing revenues higher.

Filed under: Technology

Originally published