Chip industry expects sales to grow just 6 percent in 2011

Semiconductor sales are expected to grow 32.8 percent in 2010 to $300.5 billion.

But next year and the year after will see more moderate growth, the Semiconductor Industry Asscociation, the chip industry’s trade group, predicted today. It forecasted sales growing just 6 percent to $318.7 billion in 2011 and 3.4 percent in 2012 to $329.7 billion. Overall, from 2009 through 2012, the compound annual growth rate is estimated to be 13.4 percent.

Chip sales are closely watched as a barometer for the health of the tech industry, since chips are used in all things electronic.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade group will hold its annual dinner in San Jose, Calif. this evening, where it will honor George Scalise, its longtime president who retired earlier this year. He was replaced by Brian Toohey. Toohey said that the industry had strong demand across a broad range of markets in 2010, but sales are expected to slow down as the economy recovers and consumer confidence comes back over a longer period than previously expected.

The chip industry employs about 185,000 people in the U.S. and is the backbone for the $1.1 trillion electronics industry.

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