Bouncing markets beat a fall

These days, market figures are a bit like riding a pogo stick. As long as you’re moving both up and down, you’re going forward, not crashing down.
All the projections after the second quarter take pains to look at upward bounces while acknowledging plenty of downward bounces.
Worldwide semiconductors sales for the second quarter were $51.7 billion, up 17 percent over the first quarter, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. But the pleasantness that comes with using the word “up” is tempered by a 20 percent sales decline compared to last year.
The SIA cites other examples of simultaneous up and down cycles in PCs and cell phones, which consume nearly 60 percent of the world’s chips. Optimistic estimates for unit sales of PCs are now flat compared to 2008. That’s an upward bounce from forecasts of 9 to 12 percent declines. In cell phone handsets, declines of 7 to 9 percent sound much better than earlier forecasts of a 15 percent decline.
In the beleaguered market for automotive chips, Databeans predicts that September will show some growth after a few months of flat revenues. Going forward, they foresee a strong recovery moving forward into the first quarter. But it will take several strong months to hit the peaks of early 2008.
Circuit board markets are also springing upward while simultaneously falling down. IPC Market Research predicts that worldwide rigid board production will hit $43.5 billion next year, up from $40.6 this year. However, it will be 2011 before revenue rebounds to the $50.7 billion peak of 2008.
We’re bouncing along, with more signs that electronics markets are gaining momentum. Those gains are slow, but when you’re on a pogo stick, forward movement sure beats the alternatives.

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