Demand for computer wares persists. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that new orders for computer products rose 14.2% in January from a year earlier and 1.5% from December. Overall, durable goods orders increased 4.9% this past year and 3.3% this past month.
Shipments of computer goods soared 18.1% year-over-year and 19.9% month-to-month, a strong demonstration that businesses are acquiring new technologies. Shipments of all product categories increased 2.1% for the year and 3.5% for the month.
Even the decline in computer inventories--down 5.6% for the year and 2.3% for the month--suggests an economic rebound for the IT sector is occurring more quickly than vendors had foreseen. "Computers are going out the door faster than people expected," says economist John Tatom, an executive-in-residence at DePaul University. "That's a good trend because computer makers must pick up the pace of production."