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(Reuters) – Global semiconductor sales rose 6.4 percent in April to $15.6 billion from March, helped by moderate improvements in a number of end-demand drivers and inventory replenishment.

The PC market, which is a major consumer of semiconductors, has been stronger than predicted earlier in the year, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said.

"Consensus forecasts currently project that PC unit sales in 2009 will decline by about 6 percent compared to earlier forecasts of a decline in the range of 12 percent," said SIA President George Scalise.

Cell phone unit sales are now expected to fall by around 7 percent compared with earlier forecasts of 15 percent for the year.

PCs and cell phones account for nearly 60 percent of all semiconductor consumption, Scalise said.

"Two consecutive months of sequential sales growth may be an indication of a return to more normal seasonal sales patterns in some market sectors, albeit at lower sales levels than last year," he added.

(Reporting by Deepti Govind in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)