Compiled By Jill Jusko Corporate information-technology budgets will decrease sharply in 2002, showing the impact of the global economic downturn, says a new report. In particular, U.S. businesses will decrease total IT spending by 2% to 5% in 2002, compared with an estimated 8% increase in 2001. Non-U.S. IT spending will be flat in 2002, compared with a 6% increase in 2001. These conclusions are detailed by META Group, a research and consulting firm based in Stamford, Conn., in its Worldwide IT Trends & Benchmark Report 2002, Premium Edition. META Group conducted its study from a database of more than 18,000 IT contacts and data collected from a survey. Respondents represent 33 countries and more than 24 industry sectors. "IT organizations are rebalancing their budgets by cutting into their discretionary spending, while keeping the 'run the business' portion of budgets intact," says Howard Rubin, META Group executive vice president. A recent META Group survey found that 50% of CIOs already have reduced their budgets but continue to spend on Web-based technologies and infrastructure development.