Any sales increase is a positive sign for the economy, but sales of high-end equipment are especially important. In the technology sector, large servers and other expensive electronic equipment have increased. The purchase of specialized medical testing equipment by hospitals and labs has also increased from the end of 2010 through early 2011.
These kinds of sales increases are important not only because they show that companies have enough financial confidence to make major purchases, but also because they represent a major increase in overall economic activity. The companies that produce this expensive equipment have new orders that can allow them to expand, or at least rehire workers laid off during the downturn. The purchasers have new revenue streams as more customers use their new equipment.
Where did the data on these increased purchases come from? From the companies likeliest to notice: specialty shipping firms. An MRI machine or a huge generator that maintains power flow to a server farm can't just be loaded into a moving van -- they must be carefully packed and transported by experts to avoid damage. The specialty shipping industry is showing a lot of confidence in large-scale industrial transportation in 2011 [source: PRWeb]. Other reports indicate 0.9 percent growth in the manufacturing of business equipment, computers and semiconductors [source: Chandra & Kowalski].