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Global chipmaking equipment sales seen shrinking 18% in 2019

Industry group cites investment pullback amid trade war and Huawei sanctions

Weaker demand for servers and smartphones is expected to hinder spending on semiconductor fabrication equipment more than initially projected. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

PALO ALTO, U.S./TOKYO -- Spending this year on chipmaking equipment worldwide will fall greater than previously projected by a global industry group as concern about the world economy, fueled by China-U.S. trade friction, dampens investment in data centers.

SEMI, whose members include Applied Materials of the U.S. and Japan-based Tokyo Electron, said Tuesday it now expects sales to fall 18% this year to $52.7 billion, the first decline in four years. The organization initially projected an 8% decline to $59.6 billion. Its forecasts are watched closely as barometers of the digital economy.

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