Forecasts for semiconductor industry growth keep climbing as the memory chip market booms and expectations for the remainder of the year rise.
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization Tuesday (June 6) increased its forecast for the year, saying it now expects chip sales to grow 11.5 percent to reach $378 billion. This would represent the highest annual growth for the semiconductor industry since 2010.
WSTS, an organization of chip vendors that tracks sales data from more than 45 members, had previously said it expected chip sales to increase by 6.5 percent this year.
The revised forecast is the latest indication that optimism about the strength of chip sales in 2017 continues to grow as the year moves on. Market research IC Insights Inc., for example, recently raised its 2017 forecast, saying it now expects the total semiconductor market to grow by 14 percent this year.
Chip sales in April totaled $31.3 billion, a 21 percent year-over-year increase, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), which reports data compiled by the WSTS group.
"The global semiconductor market has grown at an impressive rate through the beginning of 2017, culminating with April’s year-to-year growth of 21 percent, the global market’s largest increase in nearly seven years,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO, in a statement.
Neuffer said the semiconductor industry's growth has largely been driven by a booming memory chip market, but that sales of other chips also grew by double digit percentages in April. All major regional markets posted substantial year-to-year gains, he added.
Beyond 2017, the WSTS projects that the chip market will grow by an additional 2.7 percent in 2018. Nueffer said that sales in 2019 are projected to be roughly flat.
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