Businesses, consumers and network operators in Germany are buying more — actually plenty more — IT and telecommunications equipment and services. That was the upbeat message delivered Wednesday here in Hanover, Germany, by the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media e.V. (BITKOM).

“After three difficult years, vendors are reporting a significant rise in demand,” said BITKOM President Willi Berchtold at a news conference. “Companies are beginning to invest again.”

Berchtold warned, however, that although vendors have reason to be optimistic, they shouldn’t be euphoric. “We aren’t going to experience the unique growth rates of the late 1990s so quickly again,” he said.

After the U.S. and Japan, Germany is the world’s third largest market for IT and communications, with a six per cent share of the global market for IT and telecom equipment and services, according to the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO).

The worldwide market for IT and telecom equipment and services is expected to grow 4.3 per cent this year and exceed