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Survey: chips sales volatile throughout 1999

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The recent levels of growth experienced by the worldwide semiconductor industry are unsustainable for "any length of time", market analyst IC Insights has warned. The company, which will next month publish the next edition of its annual McClean Report into the semiconductor business, reported thath the month-to-month sales growth of 4.3 per cent in September and 6.3 per cent in October cannot continue for much longer. On the basis of October's growth rate, 1999 would see an increase of 75 per cent over 1998's sales figures. The company said it expects sales to dip through December and early 1999. It also described the market through 1999 as one of short-term rises and falls. However, IC Insights said those peaks and troughs will average out as an upward curve. Semiconductor sales for the new year will be higher than those seen throughout 1998. The company anticipates the business will be worth some $140 billion, an increase of 11 per cent on 1998's $126 billion. ®

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