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New orders for semiconductor equipment should
rise in 2012.Semiconductor equipment shipments increased 11.8 percent in December 2011 and new order bookings rose 18.5 percent compared to November, according to the trade association SEMI.
However, both equipment shipments and new orders declined in December 2011 compared to December 2010. Shipments (billings) were 25.2 percent lower than December 2010. New orders (bookings) dropped 26.7 percent in December 2011, compared to December 2010.
Semiconductor equipment manufacturers posted $1.16 billion in new orders in December 2011 and $1.32 in billion in billings.
The book-to-bill ratio was 0.88, meaning equipment manufacturers received $88 in new orders for every $100 of orders they shipped in December. In November, the book-to-bill ratio was 0.83. The ratio has increased for three consecutive months.
“The December data reflects a further increase in bookings for semiconductor equipment,” said Dan Tracy, senior director of industry research and statistics at SEMI. “Recent capital spending announcements by leading device manufacturers indicate the potential for continued improvement in 2012.”