Steady growth seen for 'chips'

Fueled by increasing demand for electronics equipment and a steady decrease in the price of semiconductor chips, the semiconductor industry will grow at a healthy rate, averaging 20 percent per year through 1983, according to a study by Arthur D. Little Inc.

Increasing technological sophistication, periodic chip shortages, and plant expansion to keep up with soaring demand for semiconductors will figure prominently in the industry outlook. In particular, there will be accelerating demand for sophisticated integrated circuits in the automotive, telecommunications, and office terminal industries.

Indicative of overall industry growth was the 30 percent rise in worldwide shipments in 1979 over '78. The report forecasts that 1980 shipments will increase at less than half that rate, reaching nearly $15 billion (current dollars) by year-end.

A moderate recession predicted for the first half of 1980 will slow this year's dollar growth to about 10 percent, but the pace will accelerate thereafter.

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