Worldwide sales of semiconductors rose to $16.28 billion in March, a sequential increase of 4.4% from the $15.58 billion reported in February and a 32.3% increase from March of 2003, according to the the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Global sales grew to $48.8 billion in the first quarter of 2004 compared to $36.4 billion in the first quarter of 2003 and $48.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003. The SIA noted that the first quarter is normally a seasonally weak quarter for semiconductor sales while the fourth quarter is normally a strong quarter.
Coupled with the 4.2% first-quarter growth in the US GDP, the sequential sales growth in the first quarter is a further indication of the strength of the economic recovery that is driving demand for a broad range of semiconductor products.
“The strong sales in the first quarter are very encouraging,” stated SIA President George Scalise. “Based on the strong first-quarter results, it now appears likely that growth for 2004 will exceed 20%.”
One of the leading drivers of sales growth was continued growth in corporate spending on information technology (IT) products. Corporate spending on IT software and hardware increased by 11.5% in the first quarter, the fourth successive quarter of strong growth and the third straight quarter of double-digit growth.
Reflecting the continuing high level of corporate spending on Information Technology, sales of microprocessors and DRAMs – showed solid sequential growth in March of 5.3% and 5.9% respectively. March sales of programmable logic were up 12.9% from February. ASSPs (application-specific standard products) for automotive applications grew by 8.4% in March.