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Trade body talks up global chip sales

Recovery drives optimism

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The world chip market will grow by more than 20 per cent this year on the back of "a broad-based recovery", the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said yesterday, effectively raising its global growth forecast from its previous prediction of 19.4 per cent.

Lending weight to the SIA's revision, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) group yesterday reported that March's worldwide chip sales were $16.28bn, up 4.4 per cent on February's figure, $15.25bn, itself up 0.2 percentage points on January.

Running against the SIA's optimism, however, is the spectre of a drop in worldwide fab utilisation during Q1. Q4 2003's figure came to 92 per cent, but the SIA said that the figure may fall when Q1's numbers are all in an tallied.

The SIA did not provide an exact growth figure - it will do so on 9 June when it makes its usual six-monthly market forecast. In the meantime, it is expected to announce its own March sales statistics shortly. The figures are expected to show growth in the CPU, DSP and analog chip sectors. ®

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