NEW YORK: Chip sales are set to cool more than expected as the international economy struggles under the weight of rapid interest-rate increases and rising geopolitical risks, fueling fears of a global recession.

World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), a non-profit body that tracks shipments, lowered its market outlook to 13.9% growth this year from a previous 16.3%.

In 2023, it sees chip sales rising just 4.6%, the weakest pace since 2019.

According to WSTS, the market is still expected to exceed US$600bil (RM2.7 trillion) this year.

Next year’s forecast growth would be the weakest since a 12% drop in sales at the height of the United States-China trade war.

Chip sales are an important indicator of global economic activity as households and firms increasingly rely on digital devices and online services to consume and expand.




US President Joe Biden this month signed the so-called Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act, aimed at strengthening the American semiconductor industry as China races to expand its own chip-making capacity.

Japan will probably see the strongest sales growth at 5% next year, followed by the Americas at 4.8% and the Asia-Pacific at 4.7%, according to WSTS.

Europe, where Russia’s war on Ukraine is reverberating across the continent’s economy, will likely post an expansion of just 3.2%.

The International Monetary Fund last month downgraded its global growth forecast and said 2023 may be tougher than this year.

A Bloomberg Economics model sees a 100% probability of a US recession within the next 24 months.

According to its website, WSTS is based in Morgan Hill, California, and its members include Texas Instruments Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp and Yangzhou Yangjie Electronic Technology Co. — Bloomberg

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