Chip sales enjoy second record month in a row

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), May was the second consecutive record-busting month for worldwide semiconductor sales.

The Association reckons sales for the month topped a value of $24.7 billion, setting a new monthly sales record. The record was only a month old, having been set in April with a figure of $23.6 billion.

"Global sales of semiconductors in May reached a new high and remain on pace to reach the SIA forecast of 28.4 per cent growth to $290.5 billion in 2010," said SIA president George Scalise. Scalise said sales have been strong in PCs, handsets, corporate IT, industrial applications and cars.

As a result of the apparent boom, the SIA has repegged its growth estimate for PC sales at 20 per cent this year. It reckons mobile phone sales will be up 10-12 per cent over 2009 levels.

Sales of computation and communications products are being fueled by emerging markets including China and India, Scalise said. Meanwhile demand from the corporate IT and industrial sectors that had held off on kit replacement during what Scalise called "the global economic recession" is beginning to come back, according to Scalise. Others have termed this the Vista affect.

"Recent chip sales have shown robust demand, but the on-year growth rates also underscore the very depressed market conditions of the first half of 2009," Scalise noted. "Going forward, the on-year growth comparisons will reflect the industry recovery that gained momentum in the second half of last year."

It's no time for complacency, however. Things could yet go wrong in the global economy, as the debt induced by the perceived need to prop up banks world-wide after they'd gone on a ten-year binge with other people's money may yet cause electonics good buyers to baulk at new purchases, as the debt begins to weigh heavily and swingeing cuts cause the world ecomony to double dip. Best to keep eyes open, Scalise warned.