The US semiconductor market closed 1987 with December with orders reaching the highest level in over three years, leaving the book to-bill ratio at 1.13, compared with revised figures of 1.09 and 1.06 for October and November respectively. At $969.3m, December shipments to the US market were 7.0% up on the revised November figure, but were 2.7% down on the September figure. They were up 25.2% on the same figure for a year ago and 74.4% above the cyclical low of $555.9m in January 1986. Average monthly orders for the three months to December totalled $1,044.6m, up 5.3% on the revised November figure, making it the highest bookings level since July 1984 when $1,126.4m was recorded. The fourth quarter bookings rate was 8.0% higher than for the third quarter, 37.9% greater than the same quarter last year, and 120.6% higher than the cyclical low set in September 1985 of $473.6m. Total solid state shipments to the US market for the fourth quarter of 1987 are estimated at $2,770m, 1.8% higher than the third quarter and 29.0% higher than a year ago. US shipments for 1987 are estimated at $10,300m, 20.7% higher than for 1986. The increase in the book-to-bill ratio for December is driven by strong business conditions in end-use markets such as personal computers and engineering workstations, commented Doug Andrey, the Semiconductor Industry Association’s Manager of Industry Statistical Programmes. In addition, this is the first time the ratio has remained above one for an entire year since 1983.