Worldwide semiconductor capital equipment billings has logged a YoY decline of 13% in Q4, led by quick declines of about 50% in Europe and more than 30% in the U.S. and South Korea, according to the latest report from trade group SEMI.

Q1 billings were down 49% in Europe, 37% in South Korea and 32% in the U.S., more than offsetting strength in the China market, SEMI said. Capital equipment billings in China reached $1.6 billion in Q1, up 39% compared with 1Q15 and up 60% compared to 4Q15, according to SEMI data.

Worldwide, semiconductor capital equipment billings reached $8.3 billion in Q1, up 3% compared with 4Q15, according to SEMI. Tool sale bookings totalled $9.4 billion in Q1, up 5% from the previous quarter and down 2% compared with the year-ago quarter, SEMI added.

EEOL 2016JUN09 MFG NT 06 Figure 1: Data shown in billions of U.S. dollars. Source: SEMI/SEAJ

The data on Q1 fab tool bookings and billings was gathered jointly by SEMI and the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ) from about 95 global equipment companies that provide data on a monthly basis, SEMI said.

Market research firm Gartner last month increased its forecast for total semiconductor industry capital spending in 2016, saying it now expects it to be roughly $62.8 billion, down about 2% from 2015. Gartner had previously forecast that semiconductor industry capital spending would decline nearly 5% this year.

According to Gartner, semiconductor firms have tempered their capital spending this year due to excess inventory and weak demand for PCs, tablets and mobile products.