A shading of the book-to-bill ratio to 1.17 in March from February’s 1.18 has left the Semiconductor Industry Association unfazed, and the San Jose chip lobby is still looking for better than 20% growth in US sales for the year. March shipments were $1,080m, up 20% on the figure for March 1987 and the best since the $1,120m for September 1984. Three-month average sales to March were up 5% at $963.7m on the average monthly figure for the three months to February. Average monthly orders for the three months to March rose 4.3% to $1,130m against the average for February, up 23% on the 1987 March figure and the highest since July 1984. But despite the Association’s optimism, the overheated state of the market suggests that the cycle may be very near its peak, and any firm signs of recession could lead to a substantial fall-off later in 1988.