Worldwide Computer Chip Sales Rise: Report

By Agence France-Presse Semiconductor sales rose by 3% in May, an industry trade group reported July 1. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), sales of computer chips totaled $11.4 billion in May, up from an April figure of $11.1 billion. That number led the SIA to declare an ongoing recovery in the sector, from last year's slump, attributing the upturn to sales of chips to non-computing markets, such as wireless phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and other devices. "While the computation sector is down, all other sectors including wireless and consumer [devices] continue to thrive," says SIA President George Scalise. "We expect the industry to close the second quarter with growth of 4.7%." Looking at the numbers through the prism of last year illustrates the computer chip industries' recent woes: May 2002 sales numbers represented a 10% drop from the $13 billion in sales for the same month in 2001. The Asia-Pacific region led May's modest rally, increasing 22.4%. Overall, the SIA is forecasting an almost 3% rise in chip sales this year. The San Joe, Calif.-based trade group says the sector will again see double-digit growth by 2003. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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