Third quarter global semiconductor industry sales reached a record high of $87 billion, as reported earlier this week in SIA’s most recent monthly global sales report. This figure marked a 5.7 percent increase over the second quarter global sales totals.
While the news of quarterly sales growth was not entirely unexpected — the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) program had forecast quarter-over-quarter sales growth of 4.4. percent — the 5.7 percent growth rate was comfortably higher than the WSTS forecast. Also, in terms of year-over-year quarterly sales growth, the third quarter results were soundly ahead of last year’s with year-over year quarterly growth of 8 percent.
The orange line in the table below shows 2014 monthly semiconductor sales performance through the third quarter of 2014. From the start of 2014, monthly sales have been unambiguously ahead of the pace set in each of the previous five years. Even assuming some degree of seasonal fourth quarter sales tapering, it would be surprising if any monthly sales figures results over the final three months of the year did not surpass monthly sales results from the previous six years in the table. (Note, all monthly sales figures in the table represent a three-month moving average). [Source: World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) data]
As in previous quarters in 2014, third quarter sales growth was uniformly strong across geographical and product segments. Third quarter sales in the Americas (9.8 percent), Europe (0.9 percent), Japan (2.2 percent), and Asia Pacific (5.9 percent) grew quarter-over-quarter. From a product segment perspective, third quarter sales growth was also comprehensive, as month-over-month sales of virtually all major product categories grew through the third quarter.
Through the first three quarters of 2014, global semiconductor sales have continuously grown to reach record levels. At this point in 2014, it is hard to envision final 2014 sales not being the highest annually on record. The interesting question to consider is whether final 2014 annual sales will surpass WSTS’s forecast of 6.5 percent annual growth.