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LTW, AP

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Worldwide semiconductor sales fell 3.5 percent in October from a year ago, but rose from September as manufacturers ramped up production for the holiday season,

Sales totaled $21.7 billion in October, with all regions showing declines except for the Americas, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

However, sales rose by 5.1 percent month over month. Monthly sales figures are compiled using a three-month moving average to smooth out volatility.

“October is historically a strong month for the semiconductor industry as electronic equipment manufacturers ramp production for the holiday season. Inventory management throughout the supply chain has been very tight, and this may extend the fourth-quarter build season by a few weeks,” SIA President George Scalise continued.

“As Semiconductor sales are increasingly driven by the performance of the overall global economy our sales are reflecting the improved economic conditions in our world markets. Sales increased sequentially in all geographic regions,” he added.

Year over year, sales in the Americas rose by 14.1 percent. Europe was down 17.8 percent, Japan fell 11.6 percent and other Asian Pacific nations fell 1.3 percent.

Month-over-month sales were strongest in Europe, up 21.4 percent, followed by Asia Pacific excluding Japan, up 20.4 percent. The Americas were up 18.8 percent and Japan trailed with growth of 16.3 percent.

From January to October, sales fell 16.6 percent from the same period of 2008 to $180 billion.

Chip makers have kept inventories lean, and the holiday ramp-up in production could be extended by a few weeks, the industry trade group said.