Mixed economic indicators caused the E-Business Barometer to hold steady in July. E-business stocks dropped 8.5 per cent in the month amid a sharp decrease in Internet-related merger-and-acquisition activity. Also, a venture-capital survey showed a drop of US$1 billion in investments in Internet-specific companies from the first quarter of 2001 to the second.

Still, the negative developments were softened by encouraging signs. July dot-com layoffs dipped to the lowest monthly level since October 2000, and there was a hefty increase in the overall number of Web users. In addition, the number of Web servers on-line worldwide topped the 30 million mark for the first time.

The E-Business Barometer gauges the health and direction of the e-business economy. Each month, we focus on one segment of e-business. This month we look at Web hosting.

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