A report said that Europe's largest distributors showed a two percent growth in sales in January, compared to January last year.

That reverses 11 consecutive months of negative growth - or in English decline.

Market research company Context said UK distributors were ahead of the Western European pack, with 5.4 percent growth. German sales grew by four percent, France by 3.3 percent, and Italy by 3.1 percent. The poorest performing regions were the Scandinavian countries and Austria, with sales down in January by 3.5 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

All of this, apart from Austria and the Nordic countries, might be good news, but there's bad news too. Notebook sales rose by 12 percent in January compared to January 2009, but revenues only grew by a miniscule one percent because of the number of netbooks and low cost machines sold.

But hey, every cloud has a silver lining - sales revenues in the telecomms sector rose by a staggering 173 percent, while smartphone sales grew by 226 percent.