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Continued Political and Economic Uncertainty Suppresses Silicon Demand

BOSTON, Mass., September 24, 2013 — A slow global economy is suppressing the demand for silicon wafers, according to the Q3 Econometric Semiconductor Forecast (ESF) from Linx Consulting, the premier electronic materials consultant to the semiconductor industry.

Continued political and economic uncertainty has dampened the year-on-year forecasted demand growth to only 2.9% in 2013.  The picture for 2014 is slightly better, but continued underperformance in global markets will keep the semiconductor demand growth between 6.5% and 7.0%.

The Linx forecast for sales of silicon in Q2 2013 was 2,380 MSI, only 10 MSI from the value reported by SEMI.  While moderate growth is predicted for Q3 at 3.6%, the outlook for Q4 is down by 7.1%, reflecting the seasonal cyclicality.

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The Linx ESF was launched in January 2013, and statistical analysis of past releases has confirmed its accuracy, with only a 1.3% error in forecasts one quarter out.  Studies published in the latest forecast output show a high correlation between sales of electronic materials and silicon sales.  Consequently, accurate forecasts of silicon demand are crucial for materials and consumable suppliers trying to plan and control their operations.

The Economic Semiconductor Forecast is based on an econometric forecasting model developed by Linx Consulting in conjunction with Duncan Meldrum, a business economist that specializes in business forecasts and analysis from Hilltop Economics.  The ESF is the only forecasting service in the semiconductor industry that offers accurate forecasts on a monthly basis with major quarterly updates.

Linx Consulting is the leading electronic materials consulting firm, serving the semiconductor, photovoltaics, and electronics industries worldwide. The firm develops unique insights and creates knowledge at the intersection of advanced thin film processing and performance chemicals and materials.

Hilltop Economics LLC was founded by Duncan Meldrum, PhD to focus on business economic research and forecasting projects.  Meldrum has over thirty years experience in the application of economics to forecasting and business analysis, first as the chief economist for Air Products and Chemicals, then as the director of the Center for Forecasting and Modeling at IHS Global Insight. His experience includes frequent presentations on economic conditions and industry outlooks for major semiconductor industry events and meetings.

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