Market News

TEMPE, AZ – The manufacturing sector in September dropped to its lowest level since October 2001 – the month following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington – the Institute for Supply Management reported today.
  
The segment of Computer and Electronic Products was among the six sectors showing growth, however. The overall economy grew for the 83d consecutive month.
 
The Manufacturing PMI was 43.5%, down 6.4 points from August and the lowest mark since October 2001's 40.8%. A reading above 50% indicates expansion in manufacturing. Over time, a PMI over 41.1% indicates an expansion of the overall economy. The PMI for September annualized corresponds to a 0.8% increase in real GDP.
 
ISM spokesman Norbert J. Ore said, "The PMI indicates a significantly faster rate of decline in manufacturing during September, marking a departure from the 2008 trend toward negligible growth or contraction each month. This month's report is showing prices rising at a much slower rate, as the Prices Index fell to the lowest level in 21 months. Export orders continued to increase, but at a slower rate than in August."

The New Orders index was 38.8%, down 9.5 points sequentially. A reading above 51.6%, over time, is generally consistent with a rise in the Census Bureau's manufacturing orders figures. 
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. high-tech exports totaled $214 billion in 2007, down 3% compared to 2006, according to AeA.
 
High tech is the single largest merchandise export sector in the U.S., representing 18% of all U.S. exports to the world in 2007, says the association.
 
High-tech imports totaled $333 billion last year, up 3%, resulting in a high-tech trade deficit of $118 billion.
 
“Trade is critical for the U.S. high-tech industry and for every state’s economy,” said Christopher W. Hansen, president and CEO, AeA. “The bad news is that U.S. tech exports declined slightly in 2007. The good news, however, is that tech exports rose in 29 states. These exports support nearly 900,000 American jobs – an often overlooked fact.”

Twenty-nine cyberstates saw tech export growth between 2006 and 2007, according to AeA. The largest growth was in Virginia, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey and Utah, as measured by dollar increase. California was the leading high-tech export state with $48.2 billion in exports in 2007, followed by Texas with $35.9 billion. Florida, New York and Massachusetts rounded out the top five. The largest decrease in tech exports occurred in California, Texas and Colorado.
 
The largest overseas markets for U.S. high-tech exports were the European Union ($46.6 billion), Canada ($29.4 billion), Mexico ($26 billion), China ($14.5 billion), Japan ($11.9 billion), and Singapore ($9.2 billion), says the association.
 
The fastest growing large export markets (defined as having $1 billion or more in U.S. tech exports) for U.S. tech exports between 2006 and 2007 were Portugal (+204%), the Dominican Republic (+45%), Belgium (+41%), Colombia (+28%), and Argentina (+21%).
 
The U.S. imported the most high-tech products from China ($112.3 billion), Mexico ($51.3 billion), the EU ($33.4 billion), Japan ($29.2 billion), and Malaysia ($25.1 billion).
 
High tech was the second largest import sector, just behind energy products. The largest high-tech import subsectors in 2007 were computers and peripheral equipment ($103.2 billion), communications equipment ($74.0 billion), and consumer electronics ($54.4 billion).
SCHAUMBURG, IL -- IPC Midwest opened Wednesday to modest attendance and plenty of concern over the economy. The second-year trade show attracted light to modest traffic, aided by the ongoing technical conference and standards writing meetings.

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DRESDEN, GERMANY -- Plastic Logic has begun volume production of displays at its new, state-of-the-art plastic electronics manufacturing facility here.

The fully automated and integrated facility will begin building the company's forthcoming electronic reading product, scheduled to come to market in early 2009.

Plastic Logic holds patents on plastic electronics technology said to cover the manufacture of high-resolution transistor arrays on flexible plastic substrates at low temperatures. The process is said to be simpler than conventional glass silicon processes, and produces active matrix displays that are thinner, lighter and more robust than glass.
BANNOCKBURN, IL – Calling certain proposed recommendations to the RoHS Directive “arbitrary and lack(ing) a sound scientific basis,” IPC today issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the German non-profit firm that devised them.
 
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SCOTTSDALE, AZIC Insights Inc. has slashed its 2008 semiconductor revenue forecast by $6 billion, according to published reports.
 
The market research firm now expects the industry to grow 4% to $244.3 billion this year. In June, the firm predicted 2008 growth of 7% to $250.3 billion.
 
However, the firm said long-term trends would sustain pricing stability, resulting in a CAGR of 10.6% between 2007 and 2012.
 
This change is attributed to the inventory correction of the logic market and the pricing collapse of the NAND flash market.
 
Overall, IC unit growth is set to increase 8%, with average selling prices down 4% this year.
 
Long term, trends supporting reduced capital spending will help increase fab utilization rates, stabilizing chip ASPs, the firm says. Overall chip ASPs decreased 5% last year and 8% in 2006.
 
Overall, capital spending will decrease 18% this year as a result of leading chipmakers easing up on expansion, according to IC Insights.
 
Capital spending as a percentage of semiconductor sales will be roughly 17.5%, the lowest in five years. During the past four years, it has been between 20 to 22%, and historically has been 20 to 30% since 1995, says the firm.
 
For 2009, IC Insights expects semiconductor capital spending to be likely in the 8 to 10% range.
 
The revised forecast calls for the memory market to decrease 10% year-over-year, with the DRAM segment down 10%.
 
The firm now expects the logic market to increase 13% in 2008 after previously forecasting 16% growth.

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