That "second half" upturn that so many people had been predicting for the last three years finally happened in 2003. Semiconductor sales surged in the last six months of 2003, pushing the industry to 14.2% growth for the year, according to iSuppli's final annual semiconductor supplier rankings.
Additional evidence comes from the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association, which reported that the comeback that started last fall continued in February. The association's 12-month moving index of components orders is up nearly 10 points in the last six months after being flat for much of the first half of last year (see the figure).
The iSuppli semiconductor rankings showed that suppliers boasting sales increases last year outnumbered losers by four to one. In fact, 16% of suppliers boosted sales by more than 50%.
Not all regions were equally successful, though. The Asia/Pacific region did the best of the regions surveyed, growing nearly 22% last year. Japan was a close second, up 20%. Indeed, Japan took over as the second largest semiconductor region, surpassing the Americas, which was the only area to experience a market contraction.
Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association