Global semiconductor sales in August barely budged to reach $24.3 billion, up only $300 million from July despite growing demand from automakers and electronics makers, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported.

Year-to-date sales fell nearly 5 percent to $189.5 billion from the year-ago amount, the SIA said. President Brian Toohey urged candidates in the Nov. 6 election to hold “vigorous discussion” about policies to spur U.S. economic growth.

On the plus side, chip sales in the Americas, mainly the U.S., rose 1 percent from July, the first monthly increase since April, the SIA said.

On Tuesday, carmakers reported unusually good September sales with 13 percent gains from a year ago. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, previously reported being sold out of the iPhone 5.

Overall Americas chip sales rose to $4.19 billion, or 17. 2 percent of the global total. Sales in Europe and Japan eased, while Asia Pacific sales were steady at $13.71 billion, or 56 percent of overall sales.

The SIA is based in Washington after years of being in Santa Clara, Calif., in Silicon Valley. Besides compiling statistics, it lobbies for technology friendly policies.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which includes shares of U.S. leaders such as International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), the No. 2 microprocessor developer, fell 27 points, less than 1 percent, to 382.70 in Wednesday activity.