Global sales of computer chips plunged 30 percent in February compared with last year, but there are signs that the worst of the slump might be over, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said on Friday.
The industry trade group said sales fell to US$14.2 billion in February from US$20.3 billion a year ago. Sales were down some 7.6 percent compared to January.
The slumping sales for the processors that are at the heart of electronic devices reflect the crisis in the global economy. SIA president George Scalise said he expected demand to remain well below last year’s levels for several quarters, followed by a gradual recovery.
“While it would be premature to conclude that the sales decline has hit bottom, there are some indications that the rate of decline has moderated from the final quarter of 2008,” Scalise said.
He noted that demand dived from 2.4 percent lower in October last year, to 22 percent lower in December. Analysts agreed with Scalise’s interpretation.
In the last three months of last year, semiconductor sales rapidly decreased from 2.4 percent in October to 22 percent in December.
“We interpret these latest numbers as an indication that we might indeed be approaching that bottom,” Wachovia analyst David Wong said.