Market research firm IHS is ringing the alarm bells for the chip industry as semiconductor inventories have risen to levels not seen since early 2008, the beginning stages of the economic downturn.
"Global supplier semiconductor stockpiles at the end of the second quarter stood at an unusually elevated 83.4 Days of Inventory (DOI)," IHS said in a press release. This is, in fact higher than the 83.1 DOI in the first quarter of 2008.
According to the market research firm, the Q2 value jumped from 79.9 days in Q1 and is the first in twelve quarters to climb above 80 again. IHS also noted that the Q2 level as 11 percent above historical seasonal averages.
"For the semiconductor industry, wading into such potentially troubling territory - reminiscent of the dark days leading into the recession- could herald the beginning of a critical inventory adjustment period," said Sharon Stiefel, semiconductor analyst at IHS. "The correction is likely to take place during the next few quarters and will not be completed until mid-2012. As such, it will involve suppliers making a prolonged reduction in their inventory levels to avoid dangerous oversupply situations."
IHS also said that it is reducing revenue forecasts for the third quarter as "various indicators point to a stalling economy." Instead of a previously expected growth of 4.6 percent, the new forecast sees 2.9 percent growth in 2011, which is down from 32.4 percent in 2010.