Global Chip Sales Fall 30 Percent In February

Worldwide sales of semiconductors fell 30.4 percent to $14.17 billion, and the downward trend is likely to continue, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Worldwide sales of semiconductors fell 30.4 percent in February to $14.17 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, and the downward trend is likely to continue in the months ahead.

The sales were down 7.6 percent from January -- a traditionally weak month for the industry, in which sales totaled $15.34 billion.

In the Americas, February sales totaled almost $2.5 billion, a drop of 24.9 percent year over year. Declines were even steeper in Japan, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

In a statement, SIA President George Scalise said the chip industry is undergoing "one of the steepest corrections in its history."

Scalise said it is too early to say the drop in sales has hit bottom, but said there are some signs that the rate at which they are falling has "moderated" from the last quarter of 2008.

Chip makers have reacted to the economic downturn by cutting production back and lowering inventory, Scalise said. He also noted that the world's two biggest foundry manufacturers recently reported slight improvements in the utilization rates of their factories, though these are at much lower levels than a year ago.

Scalise said that chip demand will probably be lower than in 2008 for the next several quarters. SIA expects demand will rise gradually as the economy improves.

In morning trading, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index shed less than 1 percent to 243.19.

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