The U.S. economy is evolving and changing at ever-increasing speed. New information technologies and Internet-enabled information-sharing systems provide 21st century businesses and individuals with more valuable information, allowing better decisions to be made faster and cheaper. As a result, the potential for the Internet and related information technologies to impact the economy is significant.
In this chapter, the macroeconomic benefits of implementing Internet business solutions has been demonstrated in a number of ways. The U.S. economy has become less volatile, with demand volatility nearly matching sales volatility, particularly in the durable goods sector. Evidence also suggests that firms are utilizing the Internet and related information technologies to lower inventory levels relative to sales, and to boost productivity. Finally, the greatest impact will likely occur among Old Economy firms, especially those with potentially large information flows.