Technology Is Still Dead In The Water
-- June 18, 2003

Listening to the pundits on Wall Street, you'd think the next big tech recovery was right around the corner. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth -- and the latest report from a key technology trade group confirms, hands down.

Orders for semiconductor equipment makers fell 0.8% in May, the second consecutive monthly decline, according to SEMI, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International. And the fall in May is nothing new -- in fact, over the past six months, orders for semiconductor equipment have been on a fast slide ...

And longer trends are just as bad. For example, orders for chip making equipment are down a whopping 32% from a year ago.

The SEMI report is a great report to follow because it gives an inside look at the real health of the technology sector. Why is it so telling? Because semiconductors are the heart of technology, found in practically everything from personal computers to cars to cell phones. So, when orders for the machines that make those chips fall like they are now, it means technology as a whole is in rotten shape.

Think about it. If technology were on the upswing, semiconductor makers would be falling over one another buying more chip equipment. But they're not. In fact, things are so lousy that makers are buying less equipment, not more. No matter how you slice it, it's not a tech recovery.

related article: N. American Chip-Equipment Orders Inch Down in May