The Semiconductor Industry Association’s book-to-bill ratio rose for the eighth consecutive month in May, with measurements of bookings, billings, and the ratio itself either reaching or almost equalling three-year highs. The preliminary book-to-bill ratio reported for May was 1.26; the last time the indicator was higher occurred exactly three years ago in May 1984, when it stood at 1.27. Book-to-bill ratios for March and April have also both been revised upward to 1.22; March was announced as 1.21 and April as 1.20; the March figure was revised downwards to 1.20 in April. The book-to-bill ratio is computed by dividing three-month average orders taken in the semiconductor industry by three-month average shipments. Three-month average US market orders for May totalled $1,023.2m, a 7.4% increase over April’s $953.0m. The last time bookings were higher was in August 1984, when $1,027.1m in average monthly orders were taken. Three-month average shipments through May amounted to $812.5m, a 4.0% increase from the same figure for April. Orders for the month of May alone, which stood at $473.7m, were 25.4% higher than one year ago and 116.0% higher than the cyclical bookings low established in September 1985. At $789.8m, US shipments during May alone were 2.9% higher than the $767.7m of chips shipped during April. The last time billings were higher for a four-week month was in November 1984, when $940.5m of chips were sold. Association president Andrew Procassini commented With May’s strong US market performance, I am now convinced that this year will truly be a record year.
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