Despite some headwinds, global sales of semiconductor chips grew, if barely, in August. Chip sales were $25.7 billion, up 1.8 percent from July’s sales of $25.2 billion, according to the chip industry trade group Semiconductor Industry Association. But sales compared to a year ago remain strong, with August sales up 32.6 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date sales are $194.6 billion, up 44.4 percent from $134.7 billion a year earlier. All sales are based on a three-month moving average, a mathematical smoothing technique which eliminates variations in reporting schedules. Chip industry sales are a barometer of the tech economy since chips are used in everything electronic.

SIA President Brian Toohey said the sixth-consecutive month of sequential (month-to-month) growth overcame concerns about economic conditions in the U.S. and Europe. Toohey said that demand for PCs and wireless products is driving sales, especially in China and India. The SIA said it is confident that its $290.5 billion forecast, which represents 28.4 percent growth for 2010, is on target.