Friday, July 12, 2024

IT Worldwide on the Rebound

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Could the worst be behind us?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is set to deliver some hopeful news to the IT industry this week, when it plans to release a report highlighting some early signs of a recovery, according to the New York Times.

The OECD, a multinational economic forum based in Paris, has surveyed production levels of high-tech equipment such as semiconductors, mobile phones and PCs and found that, while they’re still well below the pre-crash mark of 2008, they’re looking up.

The Times quotes a hopeful OECD economist saying that the findings of the study “could be the turning point.”

Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Earlier this month, market research firm iSuppli issued a sobering report forecasting that 2009 would mark the first year of sequential decline in global PC shipments since the dot-com collapse in 2001.

“Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages,” iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins said of the report, suggesting, perhaps a bit obviously, that this is worse than a run-of-the-mill off year.

The firm is projecting 2009 shipments of 287.3 million units, a 4 percent drop from the 2008 tally of 299.2 million units.

The Times piece identifies the semiconductor segment as being hit especially hard in the OECD study, which is based on statistics compiled from national offices. Global semiconductor production is on track to end the year down 20 percent from 2008.

By region, Asia took it on the chin. The report highlights a 40 percent drop in IT production in countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, though it also suggests that the region is bouncing back at a faster clip than the rest of the world.

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