TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A nonprofit organization in charge of compiling global semiconductor business data for the industry forecast Wednesday that worldwide chip shipments in 2009 will plunge 21.6 percent from the previous year to $194.7 billion (18.2 trillion yen).
The magnitude of the shrinkage would be the second-largest after a 32.0 percent plunge the global market witnessed in 2001 when the information technology bubble burst, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics said.
The latest projection represents a sharp downward revision from a 2.2 percent fall which WSTS forecast last November.
WSTS released the revision as it now believes that the global recession will go on undercutting demand for microchips for use in automobiles, personal computers and home electronics equipment for some time.
In 2008, worldwide semiconductor shipments fell 2.8 percent to $248.6 billion.
The projected 21.6 percent dive in 2009 would mark the first consecutive-year negative growth of the semiconductor market since 1984, when WSTS began compiling relevant data.
But it expects global shipments to start rebounding in 2010, rising an estimated 7.3 percent that year and then 8.9 percent in 2011 thanks to the stimulatory economic policies various governments have adopted to counter downward pressures on their economies.
WSTS Japan Council Vice Chairman Hirotaka Kusama said, "Shipments in the January-March quarter this year were very weak. We expect shipments to continue a mild growth as the semiconductor industry enters each quarter thereafter."
WSTS forecast the Japanese market will take a 35.5 percent year-on-year dive to 3.24 trillion yen in 2009, witnessing the steepest-ever fall on record.