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Gartner revises quarterly IT forecast down on dollar fears

Alex Scroxton

Worldwide IT spending now looks set to hit $3.7tn (£2.3tn) for 2012, up 2.5% on 2011 but down by 0.2% on previous estimates, according to Gartner's latest market outlook. However the lowered growth rate has more to do with the growing strength of the US dollar versus other currencies, rather than any slowdown in spending.

In fact, at constant currency rates IT spending is apparently on pace to increase 5.2% this year, up from a previous projection of 4.6%.

Research vice president Richard Gordon said that although concerns remained around the toxic combo of the Eurozone debt crisis, the possibility of a catastrophic Chinese real-estate bubble and rising oil prices, "early signs in 2012 suggest that the global economic outlook has brightened a little".

As the Gartner data show (see table below), some growth is expected in all sectors, with IT and comms services showing the lowest growth, and comms equipment the highest, which Gartner attributed to the rude good health of the mobile device market, as well as a positive outlook for app acceleration, network security, WLAN gear and Ethernet switching.

Gartner 04.2012 ICT.jpgThe analysts also said that the SME market, representing a quarter of all enterprise IT spending, was set to hit $874bn this year, on its way to the trillion buck mark by 2016. Midsized business IT spending is set to outperform other sectors through to 2017, driven by growth in enterprise software.

Areas of concern for Gartner remained public sector and government spending, which it expects will contract moderately worldwide through to 2013 on account of the Eurozone austerity drive.


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