Dell began reaping the benefits of its new retail strategy in the fourth quarter as global PC shipments grew 17.1% from 2006, whose sales that year were off 8.4% from the year before that, according to IDC, which also reported that overall worldwide PC sales rose 15.5%, a rate that it described as healthy, but short of expectations. IDC said that widespread economic slumps were likely to cut into demand for PCs this year.

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