Thursday, 30 July 2009

The impact of the crisis on ICTs and their role in the recovery – OECD report

The OECD have recently a report "The impact of the crisis on ICTs and their role in the recovery" (published 28 July 2009).

From their summary of the report:

“A sudden upturn in global sales of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in May and June suggests the ICT industry may have reached a turning point and be on the road to recovery..”

From the report itself:

[p.4] There are signs of recovery, with the rate of decline bottoming out and turning up in the most recent cyclical data (May/June 2009), with positive month-on-month growth for most countries, and inventories running down sharply… In general, despite a very difficult first quarter large firms in the ICT sector were stronger at the end of Q1 2009 than following the 2001 bust…

[p.5] Economic stimulus packages to address the economic crisis affect the ICT sector directly and indirectly. The immediate aim of these packages has been to restore the health of the banking sector and stimulate demand in the short-term; re-financing banks, injecting cash into the economy and protecting jobs. These measures may help counteract downward pressures on the ICT sector and sustain the diffusion of ICTs. Most governments also plan to foster growth through long-term investments which have potentially providing an anti-cyclical stimulus on the supply-side. In many cases these long-term plans are directly related to the ICT sector or ICT applications, including “smart” applications in urban systems, transport systems, electricity distribution, etc. The question is how current ICT policies should be maintained or rethought in the context of the economic crisis and what is the appropriate balance between continuity in proven ICT policies and change in the form of ad hoc crisis measures.”

The economic stimulus measures mentioned include extending broadband geographically and upgrading to fibre, and planned investments in green technology, as well as modernising existing infrastructure, services and institutions.

The following chart is from page 34 of the report (click on it for a bigger version):

See also the biennial OECD Information Technology Outlook.

(Excerpts above © OECD, 2009, from The impact of the crisis on ICTs and their role in the recovery. The report was prepared by an OECD Secretariat team consisting of Arthur Mickoleit, Christian Reimsbach Kounatze, Cristina Serra-Vallejo, Graham Vickery and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, under the direction of Graham Vickery, OECD Secretariat, for the OECD’s Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP Committee) and the Working Party on the Information Economy (WPIE) .)

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