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1Technology Sector Showing Signs of Recovery

If failing banks, tight credit and swelling unemployment ranks are getting you down and there’s no sign of hope in site, take heart. While the total picture is far from rosy, there are growing signs pointing to some hope for a better economic future for technology sales. Here are a handful of them.

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At least one technology vendor and one technology distributor have called a bottom to the big slide in technology sales that began last fall, based on their results in the most recent quarters. They are Intel and IT and electronics distributor Avnet, both in earnings announced in April. Executives at both companies say that while things aren’t climbing yet, an end to the steep declines is indeed a positive sign.

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IT distributor trade organization Global Technology Distribution Council, which has access to sales data from more than a dozen IT distributors including Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Synnex, Avnet and Arrow, among others, says that each month the sequential decline in sales has been slowing down. Distributor Group Says Recession Close to Bottom

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PC builds among top notebook OEMs and four top motherboard makers are looking improved, according to analyst firm FBR research. Notebook unit builds are looking to grow at 14 percent quarter over quarter while desktop builds will decline only 2 percent quarter over quarter.Supply Chain Affirms Intel Statement PC Market Bottoming Out

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Semiconductor sales are a bellwether for other technology sales, and the Semiconductor Industry Association reported a better-than-expected 6.4 percent sequential increase in sales in April. Forecasts are now calling for a PC unit sales decline of about 6 percent compared to a previous forecast of a 12 percent decline for 2009. And cell phone unit sales are expected to decline by 7 percent compared to earlier forecasts of 15 percent.

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While sales of PCs have yet to recover, in Dell’s most recent earnings call with analysts, founder Michael Dell said the company is expecting an enterprise client refresh cycle to begin in the next year as corporate PCs reach four- to five-years in age, Microsoft rolls out Windows 7 and Intel launches compelling new processors. Dell Says Big Refresh of Enterprise Client Computers Coming

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Many IT vendors and their solution provider channel partners are expecting a boost from the economic stimulus package with funds from American Reinvestment Recovery Act in 2010 and 2011. The healthcare vertical alone is due to receive $20 billion in funds for projects such as electronic medical records and telemedicine. Tapping into the Economic Stimulus Funds