Global semiconductor sales rose 5.4 percent in May sequentially, reflecting a slow pick up in demand for products such as mobile phones and personal computers that use chips, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

SIA said worldwide sales of semiconductors were $16.5 billion in May, up from $15.6 billion sales recorded in April.

However, chip sales in May were 23.2 percent lower than the sales of $21.5 billion in May 2008.

The sequential monthly increases lead us to be cautiously optimistic about a return to normal seasonal patterns for the industry going forward, SIA said in a statement.

SIA also said that the global microchip industry increasingly mirrors the performance of the overall economy, as semiconductors have become ever-more pervasive in a growing array of products.

As consumer confidence returns and the economy resumes growth, we expect the industry to reflect those patterns, the industry body said.

The weak global economy has heavily affected the semiconductor industry and chipmakers have been aggressively cutting costs and reducing workforce to stay afloat. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)