Consumers Give Lift to Technology Sales

Consumers are helping pull the technology sector out of one of its worst-ever slumps, and optimism is building that businesses may also start switching on their spending soon.

That upbeat picture emerged as some bellwether technology suppliers issued numbers that were stronger than Wall Street expected, though still reflecting the recession’s harsh effects. Their announcements point to improved demand for products such as laptop computers and flat-panel televisions–particularly in Asia, where the Chinese government’s stimulus spending appears to be sparking sales.

The latest evidence came from Intel Corp. (INTC), which supplies the chips that serve as electronic brains in PCs. On Friday, the Silicon Valley giant–which earlier this year pointed to signs of recovery–boosted its third-quarter revenue forecast by 6 percent.

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