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Wireless Lifts April Chip Sales Past $11B

A report released Friday shows encouraging news for the chipmaking sector. San Jose, Calif.-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $11.07 billion - a 3.1 percent increase from the $10.73 billion level reached in March.

The trade group also said April's growth was led by an increase in sales in the wireless processors. The news is also significant because all four geographic regions (Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia) reported growth for the second month in a row.

"Semiconductor sales in April are continuing the steady growth exhibited in the first quarter of this year, another sign that the industry is rebounding from 2001. We expect the modest growth we are experiencing in the first half of the year to continue throughout the remainder of 2002," said SIA president George Scalise.

SIA's Global Sales Report (GSR) is a three-month moving average of sales activity. The GSR is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, which represents approximately 66 companies. The moving average is a mathematical smoothing technique that mitigates variations due to companies' monthly financial calendars.

The Asia-Pacific region showed the most improvement in April, with sales up 5.7 percent from March, according to SIA. Japan was particularly strong, with a 4.4 percent jump in sales.

European chip sales showed a 1.1 percent increase in the same time frame, while sales in the Americas rose only 2 tenths of one percent.

On a year-to-year basis, chip sales dipped 19.4 percent in April from $13.74 billion during April 2001, the SIA reported.

Even with the latest news, the semiconductor sector has been battling a weak market in the last year.

In March 2002, SIA's report said sales declined on a 25 percent year-to-year basis. In February, the drop was 35.3 percent.