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Chip Sales Sag

The Semiconductor Industry Association said global chip sales totaled $15.55 billion in January, down 3 percent from $16.03 billion in December. SIA also reaffirmed its forecast for the chip market to grow by 19.4 percent in 2004.

The January downturn was in line with seasonal norms and the monthly sales figure was up 26.6 percent year-over-year from the $12.28 billion recorded in January 2003, not 27.4 percent as stated in an earlier release that SIA corrected on Monday (March 1).

Reflecting typical seasonal demand patterns, nine out of 12 product sectors were down modestly in January from December levels. Standard cells, analog and programmable logic devices recorded flat to modestly rising growth owing to the renewed strength of the wired market.

Sales in all geographic markets were down in January from December, but up strongly over January 2003 levels, including a 34 percent rise in the Asia Pacific market that was propelled by growth in China. In addition, the Americas grew 14.8 percent, not 18.3 percent as previously stated, year-on-year, Europe by 19.5 percent, and Japan by 32 percent.

"For more than a decade now, with the exception of the boom year 2000, sales have been slightly lower in January than December because of the seasonality of the semiconductor industry," George Scalise, president of the SIA, said in a statement. "We continue to expect sales for all of 2004 to meet the current forecast of 19.4 percent with broad-based strength in all major end-markets, especially computation, communications, global consumer and automotive," Scalise added.

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