While no one’s singing “”Happy Days Are Here Again,”” the Conference Board of Canada is predicting the computer industry is about to achieve its highest profit level since the tech bubble burst.

Profits will reach $4 billion in 2004, an increase from $2.7 billion in 2003, which was the first year

of profitability since the industry nose-dived in 2001, says the Conference Board’s Industrial Outlook: Canada’s Information Technology and Communications Industry.

Due to intense competition, profits will never again reach the levels of the ’80s and ’90s, but increased efficiencies and the introduction of new technologies such as convergence is creating new opportunities, says the board. As well, strong demand for wireless technologies, which is expected to achieve a 20 per cent increase in revenues, is helping to offset falling prices, the Board says. Over the longer term, however, profits may decrease as international competition puts downward pressure on margins.

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