Worldwide semiconductor sales in August rose 3.2% from the previous month, and chip sales remain on pace to exceed the record results turned in last year, an industry group said Monday.

August semiconductor sales totaled $18.6 billion, up from $18 billion in July and an increase of 1.7% from $18.3 billion in August 2004. The Semiconductor Industry Association said year-to-date chip sales, at $144.4 billion, are 5.8% above the same period a year ago.

"While there are lingering concerns about the effects of high energy prices and the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the United States, end markets for semiconductors continue to be very strong," the group's president, George Scalise, said in a statement.

The association said sales increases for microprocessors and DRAMs have been solid. "Flash memory sales were also up sharply, reflecting robust sales of cell phones and consumer products such as MP3 players," Scalise said.

Scalise added that the outlook for semiconductor sales remains strong, "consistent with our forecast" for 6% year-over-year growth. The effects of the two recent hurricanes in the U.S. and the subsequent rise in gasoline prices aren't reflected in the August numbers.

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