Chip sales climb (ever so slightly)

Leading out of recession?

Semiconductor sales worldwide climbed to $10.6bn in November. So it wasn't a huge increase - up 1.6 per cent on October - but sales did climb for the second month in a row.

Europe, for once, delivered the engine for growth, with November sales up 5.3 per cent. Asia Pacific was up 2.5 per cent, while Americas sales were flat, and Japan was down 1 per cent.

The figures are compiled by the Semiconductor Industry Association, well-known for ability to look at the future with rose-tinted spectacles. Accompanying the November sales figures is this statement attributed to George Scalise, SIA president. "Personal computers, wireless communications, consumer products and automotive continue to fuel semiconductor sales and lead the industry out of its year long recession."

Considering that Q4 sales are historically strong in many semiconductor sectors, a modest rise in sales during the quarter is not enough to call the bottom of the recession.

The SIA sales forecast for Q4, 2001 is 4.7 per cent higher than for Q3. With only December to tally, the SIA is confident that this target will be reached. ®