Global semiconductor sales rose 2 percent in May from April, helped by an increase in demand from the telecommunications sector, a trade group said. The Semiconductor Industry Association said sales of electronic chips used in everything from computers to automobiles were U.S. $12.5 billion in May, compared with $12.26 billion in April.
Last month's sales were also up 9.9 percent from May 2002. The association said sales in Asian markets had suffered from the spread of the SARS virus, which crippled retail sales of electronics, especially in China, in the spring. It said the lifting of restrictions to check the epidemic should help. "As SARS and the geopolitical issues come under control, we expect to see demand in all geographic sectors, especially China, strengthen in the second half of the year," said George Scalise, president of SIA, the U.S. trade association for chipmakers.
Chip companies are struggling to recover from the industry's worst downturn ever, marked by a lack of corporate spending and a global economic slide that followed the greatest boom period in its history in the late 1990s. Earlier this month, the SIA cut its 2003 sales growth outlook nearly in half to 10.1 percent from the 19.8 percent forecast in November, citing weaker corporate spending on technology, the outbreak of SARS and the war in Iraq.
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