Research firm iSuppli projects the chip manufacturing equipment market will see a recovery this year. More info at CNET.
Global spending on chip manufacturing gear will grow by 46.8 percent over 2009, according to the report released Friday. The growth will follow nearly three down years. This upturn could be good news for the tech industry. Makers of chip manufacturing equipment are often considered the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of tech, because new orders often indicate a growing confidence in consumer or business spending.
The chip industry was hit by a particularly severe downturn in sales starting in the fourth quarter of 2008. That led to an 18 percent decline in the use of existing manufacturing equipment in the final quarter, iSuppli noted, followed by a more dramatic decline of 45 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Chipmakers were forced to cut capacity, which then boosted use of existing equipment by 45 percent in the second quarter and another 16 percent in the third quarter.