Where the Pileups Are
High-tech inventories shot up 30% in December year on year. Makers of high-end products such as flash chips used in cell phones are weathering the storm; manufacturers of low-cost hard-disk drives and memory chips are hurting.
Information technology inventories (excluding PCs) jumped 51% year-on-year in December. Makers of memory chips, printed-circuit boards, liquid-crystal display panels, and other computer-related products are the hardest hit.
Shipments of made-to-order chip wafers have fallen 30% year-on-year, swelling inventories. Contract manufacturers' average factory utilization has dropped from 100% last year to 70%. IT-related revenues are expected to slide 25% by March.