China helped to push chip sales increase in December -

Worldwide chip sales rose during December, with China and India leading the way on tech spending.

Developed economies may be struggling but strong PC sales in fast growing Eastern markets helped push chip sales after a lacklustre November according to Carnegie Research.

Chip sales are said to be $24.1 billion in December as compared to $25.1 billion in November, which, when seasonally adjusted, represents a six percent month on month increase.  Part of the reason for these higher than usual sales is that some spending would have been brought forward due to Chinese New Year and Chunyun festival. However on a yearly basis actual chip sales were down five percent.

Predictions for semiconductor sales throughout 2011 are expected to be flat, roughly in line with Future Horizons estimate of 0.3 percent growth, though Carnegie expects only a two percent rise in sales over 2012.

Korea reported good chip export levels in December, though Japan saw a slump in November and its December levels are not yet known.  Thailand too saw a lack of exports in the fourth quarter of 2011, though Carnegie analyst Bruce Diesen says that production levels rebounded and were impressive in December.   This has been the case with TSMC, which recently posted better-than-expected financial figures.

China’s prominence in tech markets continued to increase, producing a record number of PCs in Decemeber following four flat months, after it exported 83 million phone handsets in November – a yearly increase of 20 percent.   China was also doing a good job selling phones with 3G handsets helping push up sales values.

Sales of PCs, largely considered past it by decadent westerners, continued to rise in December  in India which saw 22 percent growth.  Indonesia too had impressive growth of 37 percent, as well as in China which saw sales increae 15 percent, accounting for a fifth of the world market.

Unsurprisingly, US retailers saw poor sales in the run up to and during the festive period, just like in the UK where any sales notched up were most likely thanks to Wonga.com.  Sales were still up though, reaching $13 billion during December as compared to $8 billion in most other months.

Japan saw tech spending slow too with TV sales hit, though this is partly due to analogue TV signals being shut down earlier in the year, leading an upgrade rush back in July.