Globally the three-month average of the semiconductor market for May was $28.20 billion, up 5.1 percent compared with the same period in 2014. The weak performance by Europe and Japan – with the two regions showing around a 10 percent contraction in the market size – is largely due to weakness of the Euro and the Yen against the US dollar, the currency in which chip sales is traditionally measured.

The three-month average of chip sales in Europe – measured in US dollars – fell by 7.8 percent in May compared with the same period a year before. Japan’s chip market in May fell by 11.8 percent compared with a year before. Both currencies have weakened against the US dollar by more than 15 percent against Spring 2014. This implies that when measured in local currencies Europe and Japan could have registered modest year-on-year growth.

Three-month average chip sales in March and April 2015 by geographical region. Source: SIA/WSTS.

In contrast, the Americas region led a charge of 11.4 percent growth in May closely followed by China with 9.5 percent growth and Asia-Pacific/Rest of the World with 8.0 percent growth.

Monthly data is given by the SIA as a three-month average, although the WSTS organization tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it evens out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of quarters and peaks at the ends of quarters.

John Neuffer, CEO of the SIA, said he expects modest growth to continue for the remainder of 2015 and beyond.

Related links and articles:

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European chip market shows 18% annual growth in April

No American chip boom after all, says WSTS

Chip market growth was strong Q1 in US, China

European chip market turns ‘schizophrenic’ 

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