SEMI reverses 2005 chip sales forecast from 23.98% growth to 5.15% slide

Global chip equipment sales are expected to fall 5.15% in 2005, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) said in a sharp reversal from its July forecast of growth of 23.98%. Sales of equipment used to make and test microchips are likely to total $33.49 bln ин 2005, down from an estimate for sales in 2004 of $35.31 bln, up 59.13%. SEMI said chip equipment demand is expected to be back on a growth path in 2006, expanding 3.07% to $34.52 bln, before growing 14.76% to $39.61 bln in 2007. By region, only China and North America are expected to post sales growth in 2005, while Japan is projected to experience a 13.72% sales decline to $6.79 bln.