This year is not yet complete, and analysts are already considering the outlook for 2015! Such is the case for our industry, which is known for always looking ahead, right?
Given that the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) program released its Fall semiconductor industry forecast earlier this month on December 2, it seems appropriate now to contemplate the 2015 forecast and what it means.
WSTS revised up its full-year 2014 global semiconductor sales growth forecast to 9 percent ($333.2 billion in total sales) from the 6.5 percent it forecasted six months ago. WSTS also forecasts positive sales growth to continue in 2015 at 3.4 percent ($344.5 billion in total sales) and 2016 at 3.1 percent ($355.3 billion).
Positive global macroeconomic growth in 2015 will continue to support semiconductor sales in 2015. While the global economy recovers at an agonizingly slow and fitful pace, it is nevertheless recovering. In its October World Economic Outlook, the IMF revised downward its growth forecast for 2014 by 0.4 percent to 3.3 percent, and global growth for 2015 was lowered slightly to 3.8 percent.
This growth in 2015 should bode well for continued growth in global semiconductor sales in 2015 as forecast by WSTS. As semiconductors and the technologies they enable have become pervasive across all aspects of worldwide consumer, industrial, and government applications, global semiconductor industry sales performance has become increasingly tied to global GDP growth.
The table below from WSTS provides some product and regional detail on semiconductor sales performance in 2014 and forecast growth in 2015 and 2016. Note that sales growth in 2015 and beyond is forecast to be more balanced with all products and nearly all regions experiencing positive growth. This board-based positive growth over the next two years is indicative of sales growth based on the foundation of strong global economic performance.