Two of the most respected IT budget watchers yesterday lowered their 2008 technology spending forecasts citing worsening economic predictions.
IDC said U.S. IT market growth would slow to 4% this year, compared with the 6% growth in IT spending seen in 2007.
Forrester Research was even more pessimistic, saying that U.S. purchase of IT goods and services would grow only 2.8% this year, down from its previous forecast of 4.6% growth.
Both firms lowered the global IT spending forecasts as well, with IDC seeing worldwide IT market growth of 5%, down from last year's 6%, and Forrester forecasting global IT spending at 6%, down from its previous forecast of 9%.
"While there is still debate over the severity and length of a U.S. economic slowdown, we do know that the IT market will not escape unscathed from any significant downturn," Stephen Minton, IDC's vice president of worldwide IT markets, said in a statement. "IT vendor performance will likely be buoyed to some extent by growth in emerging geographies, and perhaps by a weakening U.S. dollar, but we have also detected some signs of softer market conditions in Europe and Japan. Any recession in the U.S., meanwhile, would have repercussions across most major economies and IT markets."
For its part, Forrester said it based its lowered forecast on a mild recession in the U.S. economy in the first two to three quarters of 2008. "While it is by no means certain that the U.S. economy will in fact experience a recession, the risks of one are high enough to justify a more conservative outlook for the IT market," said Forrester Research Vice President Andrew Bartels in a statement released by the company. "The US remains the largest single market for IT goods and services, so it is no surprise that the global market is heavily affected by what happens to the U.S. market."
Forrester estimated that global spending on IT would reach $1.4 trillion in 2008, while IDC predicted IT purchases would hit $1.7 this year.
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