Global sales of semi-conductors are expected to fall by 1.8% in 1998, thanks to the Asian crisis, although growth of between 17% and 19% is predicted for 1999 and 2000, according to forecasts published on June 4 by the American Semiconductor Industry Association, SIA.

Global sales of semi-conductors rose by 4% in 1997. The SIA predicts that sales will recover over the second half of the current year and should exceed the sector's 17% growth record over the next three years "thanks to unprecedented growth in use of the Internet. "Internet usage is doubling every 100 days, trade on the Internet stands on the verge of a period of rapid expansion, and the foundations for the next cycle of growth in semiconductors and consumer electronics have been laid", according to SIA Chairman George Scalise.

Over the first quarter of 1998, sales of semiconductors declined by 4.9% in Europe, 10.2% in North America, 11.5% in Japan and 9.7% in the Asia-Pacific region (compared with the 4th quarter of 1997). "Sales have improved over the second quarter but not sufficiently to offset the downward trend", according to the SIA. Japan, Korea and other South-East...

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