IDC Expects Worldwide IT Spending Growth to Slow Significantly, But Remain Positive, in 2009

FRAMINGHAM, MA – November 12, 2008 – Worldwide spending on information technology will slow significantly in 2009 as a direct result of the global financial crisis that began in September 2008. According to a newly revised forecast from IDC, worldwide IT spending will grow 2.6% year over year in 2009, down from IDC's pre-crisis forecast of 5.9% growth. In the United States, IT spending is expected to decline to 0.9% in 2009, much lower than the 4.2% growth forecast in August.

"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 IT spending will continue to grow in 2009, albeit at a slower pace."

On a regional basis, spending growth in Japan, Western Europe, and the United States will hover around 1% in 2009. 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.

Looking beyond 2009, IDC expects IT spending to make a full recovery by the end of the forecast period with growth rates approaching 6.0% in 2012. Despite these gains, IDC estimates that more than $300 billion in industry revenues will have been lost due to slower spending over the next four years.

In light of the uncertainties associated with the ongoing financial crisis, IDC also developed a downside scenario to help executives plan for a situation where the impact of the crisis is more pronounced. In this scenario, IDC lowered the forecast for worldwide GDP growth in 2009 to 0.3%, which is 1.5% lower than the current forecast and worse than any year since World War II. This produced a forecast of 0.1% growth in worldwide IT spending in 2009 with negative growth in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan.

"Although the revised forecast and the downside scenario both reflect a grim outlook for global economic growth over the next several years, IT spending actually fares well when compared to the previous downturn after the events of September 11, 2001," said Stephen Minton, vice president, Worldwide IT Markets and Strategies at IDC. "Companies currently don't have the asset and spending 'overhang' that enabled them to put off purchases after Y2K and the dot-com bubble. As a result, there will be greater pressure for them to continue making IT investments in order to stay competitive."

The IDC report, Economic Crisis Response: Worldwide IT Spending 2008-2012 Forecast Update (Doc #215131), provides a top-line summary of IDC's latest forecast for IT spending, which has been revised since the financial crisis first hit in September 2008. The forecast utilizes economic forecast data from the International Monetary Fund, a set of baseline macroeconomic assumptions developed by IDC, and market-specific inputs regarding vendor product cycles, supply availability, and technology adoption patterns. The report also provides a downside scenario for worldwide IT spending based on a significantly lower economic outlook.

Over the next several weeks, IDC will publish updated forecasts for a number of key market sectors and geographies that incorporate the newly revised economic and macroeconomic inputs described above. These forecasts are designed to provide a useful blueprint to companies that are reviewing their plans for 2009 and beyond.

IDC clients can learn more about these new forecasts by joining a live telebriefing on November 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm U.S. EST. For more information or to register for this telebriefing, please go to www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=IDC_P18658.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 100 countries. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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