Finally, global chip sales seem to be picking up steam, according to according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Global semiconductor sales increased by 6 percent in the second quarter of the year to reach $74.65 billion – the largest quarter-over-quarter increase in three years, the SIA reports. Regionally, sales in the Americas jumped 8.6 percent in Q2 compared to Q1 and 10.6 percent in June 2013 compared to June 2012, marking the region's largest year-over-year increase of 2013.
All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average.
"There's no question the global semiconductor industry has picked up steam through the first half of 2013, led largely by the Americas," said Brian Toohey, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "We have now seen consistent growth on a monthly, quarterly, and year-to-year basis, and sales totals have exceeded the latest industry projection, with sales of memory products showing particular strength."
Quarterly sales outperformed the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization's latest industry forecast, which projected quarter-over-quarter growth of 4.6 percent globally and 3.4 percent for the Americas (compared to the actual increases of 6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively). Total year-to-dates sales of $145.1 billion also exceeded the WSTS projection of $144.1 billion. Actual year-to-date sales through June are 1.5 percent higher than they were at the same point in 2012.
Regionally, sales in June increased compared to May in the Americas (3.5 percent), Asia Pacific (0.4 percent), and Europe (0.1 percent), but declined slightly in Japan (-0.9 percent). Compared to the same month in 2012, sales in June increased substantially in the Americas (10.6 percent), moderately in Asia Pacific (5.4 percent), and slightly in Europe (0.8 percent), but dropped steeply in Japan (-20.8 percent), largely due to the devaluation of the Japanese yen.
"While we welcome this encouraging data, it is important to recognize the semiconductor workforce that drives innovation and growth in our industry," continued Toohey. "A key roadblock inhibiting our innovation potential is America's outdated high-skilled immigration system, which limits semiconductor companies' access to the world's top talent. The House of Representatives should use the August recess to work out their political differences on this issue and return to Washington next month ready to approve meaningful immigration reform legislation."