Global semiconductor sales are still expected to grow by almost 19.4% this year, despite a decrease in January, according to an industry trade group. The Semiconductor Industry Association attributed January's decline to "the seasonality of the semiconductor industry," which shows sales have fallen every January except in 2000, the peak of the tech sector boom as well as the tail end of the Y2K phenomenon. The group said nine of 12 product sectors had lower sales in January. The SIA said it continues to expect 2004 sales to grow 19.4%, thanks to "broad-based strength in all major end-markets, especially computation, communications, global consumer and automotive." Sales rose 27.4% year-over-year in January to $15.6 billion, according to the report released Sunday. Sales in all geographic markets were down in January from December, but were up sharply from year-ago levels. Sales in the Americas region rose 18.3%, compared to a 34% increase in the Asia Pacific market.