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Chip sales seen slumping in 2009 as woes mount

27 февраля 2009

A pair of research firms project sharply lower global semiconductor sales this year, with a recovery not expected until 2010 at the earliest.

Gartner Inc. now predicts a decline of 24%, its third forecast cut since November, while IDC anticipates a 22% decline and a 45% tumble in capital-spending in the chip industry. The latest round of forecast cuts highlight the pace at which the downturn has accelerated.

Meanwhile, IDC also lowered its estimate on global information-technology spending this year.
It sees just 0.5% growth on a constant-currency basis, not the 2.6% advance predicted in November. Unadjusted for currency changes, at current levels that means U.S.-based IT firms will see a "significant decline in revenues."

Chip sales tumbled as 2008 came to a close as economic woes in the
U.S. mushroomed into a worldwide slowdown. Consumer-electronic sales have been weak and companies of all types have been cutting inventories, putting pressure throughout the supply chain to cut back.

Gartner's forecast, for chip sales of $194.5 billion, comes two months after the company slashed its estimate to a 16% decline.

"We believe that the financial crisis has reset the semiconductor market," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. He noted after sales peaked in 2000 as the Internet bubble burst, they fell by one-third the following year and took four years to reach the old high.

While Gartner expects "modest growth" annually from 2010 through 2012, oversupply is expected to again pressure the semiconductor industry in 2013, especially for dynamic random access memory. Such products, used in personal computers, have been seeing pricing pressures for some time and DRAM makers have lost more than $13 billion the past two years.

First-quarter chip sales are expected to fall at least 17% from the fourth quarter, with "a strong possibility" the decline could be even bigger. Lewis added that on the downside, 2009's decline could seriously challenge the 2001 record.

At IDC, it doesn't anticipate a rebound for chip sales until gross domestic product and consumer spending does. Brianne Lovett, research manager for Worldwide Semiconductor Market Forecaster at IDC, said that means the chip market "will begin to stabilize at the end of 2009 and improve in 2010."

On the IT front, IDC said spending will drop 3.6% for hardware, while software and services are seen increasing 3.4% each. U.S. overall IT growth is now seen at 0.1%, not the 0.9% projected in November.

Источник: Total Telecom

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