Global IT Spending to Fall Nearly 4% in 2009

Hardware spending will drop 15%

In the biggest slowdown since the dotcom bust of 2001, information technology (IT) spending is expected to fall nearly 4% this year, market research firm Gartner Inc. said on March 31.

Gartner forecast that worldwide IT spending would decline 3.8% in 2009 to $3.2 trillion from last year's $3.4 trillion. "IT organizations worldwide are being asked to trim budgets, and consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending," said Richard Gordon, head of global forecasting at Gartner.

"The speed and severity of the response by businesses and consumers alike to these economic circumstances will result in an IT market slowdown in 2009 that will be worse than the 2.1% decline in IT spending in 2001 when the Internet investment bubble burst," he said.

Gartner lowered its forecasts for all four key market sectors -- hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications.

It forecast spending on computing hardware in 2009 of $324.3 billion, a decline of 14.9% from the $381 billion spent last year, when the sector recorded growth of 2.8% over the previous year.

Software spending was predicted to rise by a marginal 0.3% this year to $222.6 billion from the $221.9 billion spent last year.

IT services spending was forecast to fall 1.7% to $796.1 billion from the $809.5 billion of 2008.

Telecommunications spending was expected to fall 2.9% to $1.89 trillion from the $1.95 trillion spent in 2008.

Gartner said government stimulus package spending "will not be able to offset this bleak near-term outlook. "Until global financial markets stabilize, global GDP growth, including IT spending, is unlikely to strengthen," it said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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