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Global Semiconductor Sales Up 56 Percent

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Worldwide semiconductor sales rose by 56.2 percent in February, extending a recovery in chip sales, with the lift mainly coming from demand for electronic goods in emerging economies, a trade group reported Monday.

The Semiconductor Industry Association said chip sales rose to $22 billion in February from the prior year. But it was down slightly from January's $22.3 billion. Chip sales hit a trough early last year, enhancing the year-over-year gain.

Sales in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan led the recovery, up 78.6 percent to $12.1 billion in February from the prior year. Sales in the Americas followed rose 47.8 percent to $3.6 billion. Europe and Japan sales gained 36.5 percent and 23.7 percent respectively, to $2.9 billion and $3.4 billion.

Sales of personal computers and cell phones -- the top products that drive the demand for chips -- are expected to post a percentage increase in the low- to mid-teens in sales growth this year, the trade group said.

"There are encouraging signs that the global economic recovery will continue, and we remain cautiously optimistic that there is upside potential for growth," said George Scalise, trade group president, in a statement.

Monthly chip sales figures are three-month moving averages to smooth out volatility.

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