Tech Spending Still Grows, But Slowly

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Worldwide IT spending will grow 2.6 percent year-on-year in 2009, according to a newly revised forecast from IDC. This is down from the analyst firm's pre-crisis forecast of 5.9 percent growth.

In the United States, IT spending is expected to decline to 0.9 percent in 2009, much lower than the 4.2 percent growth forecast in August.

On a regional basis, spending growth in Japan, Western Europe, and the United States will be about 1 percent next year. In contrast, the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America will continue to experience healthy growth, but at levels notably lower than the double-digit gains previously forecast.

On a sector basis, software and services will enjoy solid growth while hardware spending, with the exception of storage, is expected to decline in 2009.

Some good news

"Although all the economic forecasts went from up slightly to down drastically in a matter of days, the good news is that IT is in a better position than ever to resist the downward pull of a slowing economy," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. "Technology is already deeply embedded in many mission-critical operations and remains critical to achieving further efficiency and productivity gains. As a result, IDC expects that worldwide IT spending will continue to grow in 2009, albeit at a slower pace."

Looking beyond next year, IDC expects IT spending to make a full recovery by the end of the forecast period with growth rates approaching 6.0 percent in 2012. Despite these gains, IDC estimates that more than US$300 billion in industry revenues will have been lost due to slower spending over the next four years.

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