International semiconductor sales in February fell 7.3 percent year-over-year and 1.3 percent from January, further illustrating the weak demand plaguing the air cargo industry.
Sales in the Americas region in February expanded 1.1 percent month-to-month, helping to offset the malaise in European and Asian markets, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. European sales fell 1.9 percent year-over-year, while Asia-Pacific and Japanese sales both fell 1.8 percent in the same period.
Sales of the foundation technology hit $22.9 billion in February. Semiconductor sales are down 9.3 percent year-over-year in the three-month period ending in February. Although international freight volume rose 5.1 percent year-over-year in February, the 2012 outlook is still fragile, according to the International Air Transport Association.
“It’s encouraging to see that the U.S. posted the third consecutive month of job gains, which points to momentum in the U.S. economic recovery. However, the global picture bears close watching, given the continued sluggish economies in Europe and in Asia,” SIA President Brian Toohey said.
He said he is optimistic about semiconductor sales growth in 2012, because of the improved U.S. economy and brisk semiconductor sales in the Americas region. The strengthening U.S. economy, particularly American consumer demand for new gizmos, is helping Asia cargo traffic rebound, according to Bloomberg. Asian air freight traffic may jump as much as 8 percent this year, Boeing estimates.
Freight carried by Asian airlines in February rose 7.8 percent from the same period a year ago, but the year-over-year comparison was skewed by an earlier Chinese New Year.