The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has announced that worldwide chip sales totaled $22.5 billion in January, up 0.3% from December's $22.4 billion. Sales have also risen 47.2% from $15.3 billion a year ago when they bottomed out as manufacturers responded to the global recession. The firm believes the sudden increase reflects "an improving business environment for the industry," fueled by demand for personal computers, cell phones, automobiles, and industrial applications.

Growth from last year was most evident in the Asia-Pacific region, where sales climbed 69.2% to $12.28 billion in January, and the Americas, rising 48.2% to $3.76 billion. Meanwhile, sales increased 29.5% to $2.93 billion in Europe, and 9.1% to $3.52 billion in Japan. The SIA noted that if the global economy and consumer spending continue to grow, global chip sales in 2010 could beat expectations of $242.1 billion.