CHIP SALES FACE SLIP, REBOUND

CHIP SALES FACE SLIP, REBOUND

Asia's weak economies, a slowdown in personal computer sales and an overabundance of memory chips will push down semiconductor sales nearly 2 percent this year, according to an industry group.

But those troubles are expected to ease in the second half of 1998, boosting sales and returning the industry to double-digit growth next year and beyond, the Semiconductor Industry Association said last week.The SIA, based in San Jose, said sales slowed in early 1998. They fell 11.5 percent in Japan, 10.2 percent in the Americas, 9.7 percent in Asia-Pacific and 4.9 percent in Europe during the first quarter compared with the last three months of 1997.