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Some comforting news for the tens of thousands of people who've lost their jobs and/or their life savings in the bombed-out Internet sector: everything will be hunky-dory.

The Internet marketplace is not a dead duck (it's just got a touch of the flu) and should be back to health before we all know it, according to a a positively upbeat assessment from Jupiter.

The analyst firm reports that the "long-term growth factors will continue to drive development of the Internet marketplace, even though current market conditions will temporarily hinder their near-term effects."

It continues: "While current market constraints...have slowed growth in some sectors (such as online advertising revenue, business-to-business trade and infrastructure spending) their overall impact is expected to be relatively modest."

That might not bring the dead dotcoms back to life or make-up for investors losing their shirts - but hey, it's a start.

David Card, senior analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix, says: "While many Internet ventures today are mired in financial difficulty, it's important for all players not to be overwhelmed by the negative hype that is distorting the long-term picture.

"There are many hurdles and setbacks to be overcome in the months ahead, but most of these should prove to be short-term setbacks, the magnitude of which will be offset by continued long-term growth factors.

"This doesn't mean that all of the Internet ventures around today will succeed, or that the stock market bubble will revive, or that there's huge potential in niche markets.

"But a few serious players across many Internet sectors will have large, thriving markets to capture."

Phew! ®

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