Worldwide sales of semiconductors soared to a record $247.7 billion in 2006, an increase of 8.9 percent from the $227.5 billion in 2005, according to a report released Friday by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
For December 2006, global sales were $21.7 billion, an increase of 9 percent from December 2005 when sales were $20 billion. But the December 2006 sales were a 3.6 percent decline from November 2006, when sales were $22.5 billion.
In the fourth quarter of 2006, global sales were $65.2 billion, an increase of 9 percent over fourth-quarter 2005 sales of $59.9 billion and an increase of 1.9 percent over third-quarter 2006 sales of $64.0 billion, the report stated.
“2006 was the ‘Year of the Consumer’ in the electronics industry,” said SIA President George Scalise. “Sales growth was largely driven by popular consumer products such as cell phones, MP3 players, and HDTV sets – all products that have proliferated as semiconductor technology has enabled dramatically lower costs coupled with improved functionality. According to iSuppli, the semiconductor content of electronic systems – as measured by cost – has been increasing steadily and now stands at 21.6 percent."
The growth of semiconductor sales in major world markets can be attributed to favorable economic conditions, noted the SIA.
"The GDP increase of 3.4 percent in 2006 reflected continuing strength of the U.S. economy, which is the largest market for end products. Consumer spending has been very strong, and consumer confidence is at the highest level since May of 2002. The Asia-Pacific region, in which China is the largest country market, experienced the strongest growth in semiconductor sales with a growth rate of 12.7 percent in 2006," said the SIA.
With the mostly healthy economic conditions prevalent in the major global semiconductor markets, the SIA is confident in its prediction of 10 percent growth to $273.8 billion in worldwide sales in 2007, Scalise concluded.