Chip Sales Improve In July

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Worldwide sales of semiconductors fell 18 percent in July as this year's declines continued to moderate, the Semiconductor Industry Association said Monday.

The trade group pointed to a 5 percent rise from the month before and noted that July's year-over-year decline was not as bad as the average drop this year of 25 percent.

It was the fifth month of sequential improvement in sales, reflecting "improving demand in the consumer sector," SIA President George Scalise said in a statement.

That jives with recent news from chip bellwether Intel Corp. as well as computer makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Companies that manufacture microprocessors and use them to run PCs and other electronic gadgets report improving sales to consumers even as spending on information technology by businesses remains in a slump.

Total chip sales in July came to $18.2 billion, the SIA said, down from $22.2 billion the year before.

Shares of some major chip makers opened lower along with the broader market Monday. Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel were down 19 cents to $20.06 in morning trading. Texas Instruments Inc., based in Dallas, fell 28 cents to $24.69, while Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. tumbled 16 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $4.31.

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