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Global chip biz to decline 13.5% during 2001

Will grow 13.9% next year, says industry stats body

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The world chip market will contract this year, falling back in on itself after last year's explosive growth. So reckons the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation, an industry-backed number-cruncher.

WSTS yesterday said its latest projections will see the market shrink by 13.5 per cent this year to $176.69 billion, well down on last year's $204.39 billion, itself the result of 36.8 per cent year-on-year growth.

A decline of 13.5 per cent is rather different from the increase of 20 per cent, WSTS forecast last autumn for 2001.

The outlook for 2001 as a whole may be grim, but the second half of the year should see a small but clear revival. Between July and September, inclusive, chip sales are set to grow 5.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter. That rate will accelerate to 7.3 per cent during the last three months of the year.

Renewed sales of PCs and mobile devices will drive this growth, but chips aimed at networking applications - identified by WSTS as the a key contributor to last year's growth - are unlikely to contribute much to 2001's figures. Demand for these parts, WSTS said, would remain "sluggish". The memory market isn't expected to grow much, either.

Next year will be better, said WSTS, with the market expanding some 13.9 per cent to $201.4 billion. That should see 2003 at least reaching, if not surpassing, 2000's record sales. ®

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