Chip sales show positive signs in February

Although worldwide semiconductor sales in February were almost the same as in January at $US10.01 billion, signs are pointing towards a recovery in the second half of the year, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported on Friday.

North and South America was the strongest market, with 2 per cent growth in sales over January, followed by Asia-Pacific with 0.3 per cent growth, while sales were down 1.2 per cent in Japan and 1.5 per cent in Europe, SIA said in a statement.

SIA president George Scalise said that consumer spending rather than business investment was the driver behind semiconductor sales in February. SIA reported strong sales of mobile phones, DVDs, and digital cameras. A three-fold rise in DRAM (dynamic RAM) prices in the last six months helped DRAM sales rise 24 per cent worldwide over the January figure, Scalise said.

Replenishing of inventory by electronics distributors also picked up in February, SIA said.

SIA forecasts that the second quarter will be slightly stronger with accelerating semiconductor sales growth in the second half of 2002.

The global semiconductor sales report is tabulated for the SIA by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation, which represents over 60 companies, according to the SIA, based in San Jose, California.

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David Legard

PC World
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