SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Worldwide semiconductor sales came in at $22.5 billion in January -- 47.2 percent above year-earlier levels -- the Semiconductor Industry Association reported Monday.
The trade group said the sharp increase reflects "an improving business environment for the industry," driven by demand for personal computers, cell phones, automobiles and industrial applications.
The jump in sales also reflects an easy year-over-year comparison with worldwide chip sales of $15.3 billion in January 2009. The Semiconductor Industry Association said sales bottomed out early last year as chip makers and electronics manufacturers responded to the global recession.
Year-over-year growth was most pronounced in the Asia-Pacific region, where sales climbed 69.2 percent to $12.28 billion in January, and the Americas, where sales rose 48.2 percent to $3.76 billion. Sales increased 29.5 percent to $2.93 billion in Europe and 9.1 percent to $3.52 billion in Japan.
On a sequential basis, worldwide sales rose 0.3 percent from $22.4 billion in December.
The group said that if the global economy and consumer purchasing continue to grow, worldwide chip sales for 2010 could come in above its earlier forecast of $242.1 billion.