U.S. venture capitalists (VCs) are forecasting a difficult 2009 for the venture industry as the global financial crisis takes its toll, and wireless is no exception.

According to the respondents of the third annual National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Predictions Survey, the coming year will be met with a slowdown in investing across most sectors and a continued weakened exit market. Most VCs surveyed expect a recovery in 2010, when the IPO market is expected to re-open and those companies and venture firms that weathered the storm will emerge strongly.

Ninety-two percent of venture capitalists are predicting a slowing of venture investment in 2009, compared to 2008, which is expected to reach the $29 billion to $30 billion range by year end.

Clean technology is viewed as potentially growing in 2009, followed by the life sciences sector. The strongest consensus for investment decline is predicted for the semiconductor industry. Wireless investing also is expected to decline, with 60% of all respondents predicting a slowdown.

The NVCA survey was conducted from Nov. 24-Dec. 12 and includes the predictions of more than 400 venture capitalists from across the United States.

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