The predicted return to health of the technology industry will be slow, judging by the state of the Infoconomy Index, which measures the revenue growth of the world's top 200 IT companies. In April 2002, the Index remained almost static at -13.4%, compared with -13.7% in March. A year ago, in April 2001, industry growth was comparatively strong at 8.4%. Sharp drops in revenue at some of the industry's most influential companies did not help. Sales at storage systems market leader EMC fell 44%. Massive revenue declines at networking equipment vendors Nortel and Lucent, of 49% and 40% respectively, also had some sway on the reluctant growth of the Index.
One of the most influential factors behind the industry doldrums is not just dwindling revenues, but also faltering, single-digit growth at leading tecnology companies. Semiconductor manufacturer Intel, for example, only recorded growth of 2% during its latest quarter, while quarterly revenue growth at PC vendor Apple stumbled along at just 4%.
A few bright spots, notably 66% revenue growth at disk drive manufacturer Maxtor and a sturdy 13% rise in revenue at software giant Microsoft, failed to offset poor or stagnant performances elsewhere.