Annual worldwide sales of semiconductors last year saw their first annual sales decline since 2001, according to the Semiconductor industry Association (SIA). Total sales for 2008 were US$248.6 billion, a 2.8 percent drop over 2007. "Weakening demand for the major drivers of semiconductor sales - including automotive products, personal computers, cell phones, and corporate information technology products - resulted in a sharp drop in industry sales that affected nearly all product lines," says George Scalise, the SIA's president. Sales in December alone dropped 22 percent over the previous year, in what the SIA says is traditionally a strong sales period for the industry.
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