SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Worldwide chip sales rose 7.5 percent in May to $21.8 billion compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
SIA said Monday total chip sales, excluding memory products, were up 12.3 percent. Year-to-date sales were up 5.3 percent to $103.4 billion.
"Global sales of semiconductors grew at a healthy rate in May reflecting continued strong sales of consumer electronic products," said SIA President George Scalise in a statement. He added that despite reports of weak consumer confidence in the U.S., both disposable income and consumer spending rose in May.
"It is likely that the distribution of tax rebate checks to millions of Americans was a factor in increased consumer spending," Scalise added.
Growing sales of consumer products in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America are also becoming a major factor in driving chip sales. The U.S. now accounts for about 21 percent of global PC sales, down from 31 percent recently, Scalise added.