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Q1 chip sales up 13%

Sighs of relief

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Global chip sales rose last month, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported yesterday, leaving Q1 2003 sales totalling $36.4 billion, 13 per cent higher than Q1 2002's total of $32.19 billion.

That said, the quarter's sales total was down on the previous quarter's figure, by just 3.2 per cent from $37.6 billion. You'd expect a seasonal dip in any case, in turn suggesting that the Iraq war's impact has been minimal.

Indeed, the SIA reiterated its forecast for double-digit growth for the year as a whole, buoyed by that 13 per cent year-on-year increase.

Sales during March rose to $12.1 billion, back up toward January's figure of $12.2 billion from February's $11.8 billion. March's raised figure suggests that February's dip was as much a product of February being a shorter trading month as anything else. In fact, February and March sales were higher than you might expect from the number of trading days they contain. March was less than a percentage point down on January's figure, ie. sales were effectively flat through the quarter.

The good news for the PC industry is that sales of microprocessors rose 5.9 per cent through March.

Breaking the figures up by region, the SIA said: "Sales in the Asia-Pacific market, the world's largest with 36 per cent of total chip consumption, were up 17.2 per cent year over year in March, and sales in Japan, with a 23 per cent share, rose 33.5 per cent. Sales in Europe, now the third largest market, rose by 11.3 per cent in March, while sales in the Americas, with a 20 per cent market share, fell by eight per cent, reflecting the migration of the electronic equipment market - including component sourcing, design services, and electronic equipment production, to Asia." ®

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