Amid growing fears over the health of the US and world economies, Intel Corp. on Friday lowered its sales forecast for the third quarter citing lower than expected demand for personal computers.

The world’s largest maker of computer chips said it expected revenue of between 10.8 billion dollars and 11.2 billion dollars - significantly lower than the rosy forecast it issued just last month of between 11.2 billion dollars and 12 billion dollars.

“Revenue is being affected by weaker than expected demand for consumer PCs in mature markets,” Intel said. “Inventories across the supply chain appear to be in-line with the company’s revised expectations.” Intel powers 80 per cent of the world’s personal computers and its revised forecast followed a report from research firm Gartner which slashed its previously upbeat assessment of world technology spending.

Intel is regarded as a bellwether for the tech economy, and had seen its position improve dramatically over the last year as consumers and businesses loosened their purse strings and the popularity of Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system prompted a new wave of computer upgrades.

Intel’s long-term prospects however are clouded by a shift to online and mobile computing where high performance PCs are increasingly being replaced by smartphones, netbooks and tablet computers that use internet-based servers to perform many of the tasks previously handled by PCs.