Worldwide chips sales down three percent -

World chip sales are expected to drop three percent during May, as analysts predict flat growth for the year.

According to figures from Carnegie, chip sales across the globe are expected to be $24.2 billion in May.  This means that chip sales have fallen slightly from the same period last year, looking at a three month average.

It is expected that growth in the industry will be kept flat during 2012, with a solid increase expected for next year.

Apparently chips for mobile handsets were an area that weakened in May, following a particularly strong outing in April.

Analysts say that production in Japan for chips dropped during May, and this could continue, with Renesas set to close off capacity later in the year.

In Korea meanwhile chip exports were stronger during May, with Japan shipping out only 77 percent as many chips as its neighbour during the month.

This compares with 2001 when Japan was shipping twice as many chips, or way back in 1994 when exports were three times higher.