SEMI has released the Semiconductor equipment sector’s book-to-bill ratio (b2b) for February and it continues to be stable. The implication is that the industry as a whole is still upgrading and building new Fabs to serve the worldwide chip demand for smaller and more powerful gadgets, gizmos and communications tools.
To briefly review, the b2b was decelerating through October (coincidentally or not with the mini hysteria centered around the Semi sector and market correction that month) but then stabilized. A negative trend would start the clock ticking on the economy. When the b2b declined in December we noted it was not problematic because bookings and billings had increased significantly and it was their relationship that drove the actual ratio down. False positive.
Then the b2b predictably rose although bookings and billings declined a bit in January. For February there is a slight easing but no cause for concern and certainly not a trend.
So the point of the update is simply to inform you that a marker on the economy that we review each month has been published and it remained stable as of February. From SEMI:
“Year-to-date bookings and billings for North American semiconductor equipment are higher than last year for the same time period,” said SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk. “The year is off to a good start, with growth in bookings from the back-end sector.”