Computers & Chips

Until the Next Big Thing comes along, the industry will be pursuing foreign markets, pushing business upgrades, and hawking bargain-basement PCs

Computers and semiconductors continue to be growth engines of the global economy, but 1997 is not shaping up as a go-go year. After a 10.5% revenue decline in 1996--the first since 1985--the chip industry should grow a modest 7.4% in 1997, to about $139 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Assn. Meanwhile, personal-computer sales will grow about 18% in 1997, to 85 million units worldwide, on track with last year's estimated 19% growth, says market researcher Dataquest.

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