Semiconductor sales up 5 percent in October: SIA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global sales of semiconductors rose by 5 percent in October from a year earlier, fueled by stronger-than-expected demand for personal computers, and holiday-season sales appear so far to be solid, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Monday.

At $23.1 billion, October sales were about 2 percent higher than the $22.6 billion reported in September.

“Strong unit demand for PCs has driven a 15 percent increase in unit sales of microprocessors for the first 10 months of 2007 compared to the same period of 2006,” the group said in its monthly report.

So far this year, sales are on pace with the SIA’s forecast for 3.8 percent growth in worldwide sales for 2007, SIA said.

The report said that consumers are taking advantage of lower prices in the industry, with revenues up only 4 percent over January-through-October 2006 sales.

SIA said that early reports from U.S. retailers on “Black Friday -- the high-volume shopping day following Thanksgiving -- showed strong sales of consumer electronics products such as personal navigation systems, computers, digital music players and electronic games.

“At this point, it does not appear that reported declines in consumer confidence or other concerns have affected sales of electronic products,” SIA President George Scalise said in a statement.

Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Gerald E. McCormick