Worldwide chip sales were down almost a third on the year in March, though shipments were up a touch on the previous month.
Total sales were $14.7bn the SIA reports, down 29.9 per cent on the previous year, but up 3.3 per cent on February.
The orgranisation said sales were up on the month in all regions, except for Japan. Conversely, all regions were down on the previous year.
“The modest sequential rebound in worldwide sales in March suggests that demand has stabilized somewhat, albeit at substantially lower levels than last year,” said SIA President George Scalise.
He pointed out some "bright spots" including smartphones and netbooks, but confirmed there were "no clear signs of early firming of demand" in other key markets, such as automotive, corporate IT and consumer IT.
And why were things so bad? Scalise said “The global chip industry continues to reflect the influence of the worldwide economic slowdown.”
Or, put another way, we all had a big party and blew our money on electronics (consumers) and fabs (vendors), and we're going to be clearing up the mess for a while yet. So business as usual for the scarily cyclical chip market then.
The SIA are the boosters in chief for the chip industry, but looking ahead, they could say was: “We expect economic stimulus measures in the U.S. combined with other countries will begin to impact sales as we enter 2010." ®