Orders for semiconductors continued to decline.
Semiconductor makers continue to be mired in a sluggish market, with new orders dropping in May from already low levels, according to the Semiconductor Industry Assn. The book-to-bill ratio dropped to an estimated 0.72 for May, down from 0.77 in April, the trade group reported. The May ratio is far below the 1.53 recorded in January, 1984, when the semiconductor industry was riding through a boom year. The book-to-bill ratio represents the percentage of new orders to shipments each month.