U.S. Tech Industry Health Near Record Levels

The U.S. high-tech industry has recovered from the recession and dot-com collapse and is expanding at a near-record pace, an industry-sponsored survey showed earlier this month.

The survey, released by the Information Technology Association of America used historical data to provide a baseline and trends after the low point of the recession in 2002. Based on the survey, the index rose 3.9 points in the third quarter to 121.6, which nearly matches a three-year high of 122.3 in the fourth quarter of 2004.

ITAA president Harris Miller said the group decided to establish the index "because there was an overreaction when there was a recession, and there were a lot of articles about the end of tech. People were thinking that not only did the Internet bubble burst but also the tech industry was going away. I think its fair to say tech is back, but it's older and wiser and in many ways more important to the U.S. economy."

The report compiled by Forrester Research was based on 11 measures of IT demand, supply, and the strength of U.S.-based IT providers, including employment. It found that IT employment continued to rise, reaching its highest level since early 2003 with the addition of 15,500 new jobs. Prices declined in the past quarter, and Forrester analysts said they expected prices to show continuing declines as technology improves.

"The index reveals a continuing saw-toothed pattern, which further supports Forrester's findings that the tech economy is not yet in a period of strong steady growth. In the near term, the new data points to both moderate increases and declines over the coming year. Don't weep for the U.S. tech sector, but don't break out the champagne either. Save it for 2008," said George Colony, chairman and CEO of Forrester Research

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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