SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The economic turmoil has severely dampened semiconductor sales around the world, resulting in the first year-over-year sales drop for the sector since 2001, the Semiconductor Industry Association said Monday.
Total sales for 2008 were $248.6 billion compared with $255.6 billion in 2007, a decline of 2.8 percent. In December, sales fell 22 percent year over year to $17.4 billion.
The industry is facing an "unprecedented period of uncertainty," said George Scalise, president of the association, in a statement. He added that a resumption of sales growth will partly depend on how effective the government's new economic measures will be in restoring consumer confidence, improving liquidity, and stimulating economic growth.
Weak demand for the products that drive chip sales, such as PCs, cell phones, auto products and corporate technology, has led to the sharp drop in chip sales. The steepest declines, Scalise said, were in the memory sector, where pricing pressures "more than offset significant growth" in total shipments.