Chip sales drop 44 percent

Semiconductor sales are still declining, but there are signs of a recovery ahead, according to new figures

Global computer chip sales are still shrinking, but they're on their way back up, according to the latest figures from the Semiconductor Industry Association. Worldwide sales amounted to $10.22bn (£7.2bn) in September, down 44.6 percent from the same month a year ago, and down 2.5 percent from August levels.

While sales are still dropping, the SIA noted that the decline has improved from the 3.5 percent month-to-month drop recorded in August. The month-on-month decline has improved for the past three months. "We expect this trend to continue in the December quarter, and with inventories coming into balance, we believe this will lead to sequential quarterly growth in sales," said SIA president George Scalise in a statement.

In Europe, September sales were down 41.7 percent on September 2000. The Americas market was down 58.6 percent, Asia Pacific was down 30.9 percent and Japan specifically was down 42.7 percent.

The semiconductor industry, along with other high-tech markets like telecommunications equipment, has been one of the worst-hit by the slowing global economy. However, companies like Intel continue to predict a recovery early next year.

Many high-tech companies also blame falling sales on the terrorist attacks of 11 September, which they say have delayed any recovery.

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