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Global chip sales grew 26.2 percent in September to $26.5 billion compared to a year ago. But September’s semiconductor sales were just 2.9 percent up from August, according to the chip industry’s trade group, the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Chip industry sales are closely followed as a bellwether for the health of the tech economy, since chips are used in all things electronic. Sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 were $79.4 billion, up 6.1 percent from the second quarter and up 26.2 percent from the third quarter a year ago. All the numbers represent a three-month moving average, a mathematical smoothing technique.
Brian Toohey, president of the SIA, said that chip sales grew steadily in all regions of the world through the third quarter. Demand was strong in consumer and industrial electronic products, and inventory is generally in balance with demand. Toohey expects the growth rate will be more moderate through the end of the year as economic uncertainty impacts consumer purchases of electronic goods. The SIA will present an updated forecast on Nov. 4. Chip makers employ roughly 185,000 workers in the U.S.