SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor industry capital spending is expected to increase by 2.9% in 2017 and continue increasing through 2019 as the outlook for the broader semiconductor industry improves, according to market research firm Gartner Inc.
Gartner (Stamford, Conn.) estimated that global capital spending will total $69.9 billion this year, up from about $68 billion last year. The firm estimated that capital spending increased by 5.1% in 2016.
David Christensen, a senior research analyst at Gartner, said through a statement that global capital spending growth in 2016 was driven by late-year spending on NAND flash storage capacity. Christensen said he expects this spending to continue in 2017 due to a stronger-than-expected market for smartphones.
“NAND spending increased by $3.1 billion in 2016 and several related wafer fab equipment segments showed stronger growth than our previous forecast,” Christensen said.
Christensen added that the thermal, track and implant segments of the equipment market are forecast to increase in 2017 by 2.5%, 5.6% and 8.4%, respectively.
Gartner noted that the outlook for the semiconductor industry has improved notably since the beginning of last year, particularly in the memory chip segment.
Global semiconductor sales began picking up significantly toward the end of 2016, prompting market watchers such as the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization to predict that total sales could be flat with 2015 sales. At the beginning of 2016, the WSTS, Gartner, and many other market watchers predicted that the semiconductor industry would contract in 2016.
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