Last month, The Semiconductor Industry Association put out an ominous forecast for the chip sector, slashing growth estimates from 10% to 1.8% over the coming year. Not surprisingly, the carnage in the industry seems to be spreading. An industry group for the makers of semiconductor equipment says sales will only rise by 1% this year, following growth of 23% last year, and a turnaround doesn't look likely over the next few years, as gains are expected to be anemic. This industry is cyclical, so many of these companies have seen downturns like this in the past, but taken with other bits of evidence, a broader downturn may be in the offing.
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