UK: According to Malcolm Penn, chairman and CEO, Future Horizons, October set the fourth quarter off with a blast, with IC units up 9.2 percent versus the same period last year and a staggering 22.8 percent versus September 2009. More importantly ASPs were up 5.3 percent versus October 2008, bringing the October 12:12 growth in value to plus 15.1 percent. This is the first such positive growth since July 2008!
October’s strength also makes our 3 percent fourth quarter growth incredibly conservative, with no sign at all of a near-term industry bust. With industry struggling to keep pace with second half-year demand, there has been no chance yet for inventories to be replenished after their Q4-08/Q1-09 purge.
We are now condemned to enter 2010 with tight fab capacity and no excess stock. Already, device lead times are starting to feel the pinch; no one we speak to yet believes what the data is saying.
As such, our New Year’s message to industry is simple: "By all means, plan your budget and operations for a modest growth year, but you better have a more aggressive Plan B in your back pocket."
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Happy 2010 and a prosperous new decade.