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© ra2studio dreamstime.com Analysis | November 08, 2016

2016 IC market forecast raised from -2% to +1%

A rebound in DRAM market helps raise outlook for total IC market.
IC Insights has raised its IC market forecast for 2016 by three percentage points from a two percent decline to a one percent increase and its 2016 IC unit volume shipment growth rate forecast from four to six percent. A large portion of this revision is due to a strengthening DRAM market.

Although the average third quarter sequential increase in the worldwide IC market since 2002 has been eight percent, last year’s 3Q growth rate was barely positive with a meager one percent increase. However, 3Q16 results were slightly above the past 15-year average and posted a strong nine percent jump. Moreover, with an anticipated increase of one percent next quarter, the total 4Q16 IC market is forecast to climb to USD 76.9 billion, a new quarterly record high, surpassing the previous high of USD 76.7 billion posted in 4Q14.

It should be noted that the average second half versus first half of the year growth rate in the IC market since 1990, including the forecast for 2016, is 8.9 percent. However, IC Insights is forecasting that the 2H16 IC market will be up 12.3 percent as compared to 1H16, a strong turnaround from the extremely poor second half result of -1.2 percent posted last year and the highest second half growth rate since 2009.

With expectations for slightly better worldwide GDP growth in 2017 as compared to 2016 and continued firming of both DRAM and NAND memory prices, IC Insights believes that the worldwide IC market will grow by four percent next year (IC Insights’ detailed 2016-2020 IC market forecast by product type will be presented in the November Update).

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