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3/4/2003
02:07 PM
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Merrill Lynch Sees Little Growth In Hardware Shipments

With shipments lagging orders by three months, the start of the second half doesn't look so good, a new report says.

Merrill Lynch says that orders for computer and telephony hardware grew just 0.2% in April compared to the same period a year ago, an indication that commodity IT products may be among the last to participate in any economic rebound possibly in the offing.

Actual product shipments grew 0.7% during the same period, the investment bank said in a research report released Wednesday. Shipments lag orders by three months, a situation that "does not bode well for the start of the second half," says Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich, the report's author.

Milunovich also notes that hardware orders were flat compared to March and below historical averages.

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