The continued downward spiral of the global economy has led market research firm IDC to change its earlier predictions about worldwide IT spending in 2009, revising its estimate of 2.6 per cent growth to just 0.5 per cent.
The global hardware market will be most severely affected by the decline, seeing overall spending growth of -3.6 per cent, spearheaded by a sharp drop in spending on PCs, servers and printers.
Software is doing marginally better, according to IDC, which predicts global spending on software and IT services to grow 3.4 per cent in 2009, although that number is still down from IDC's previous forecast back in November.
Global IT spending will total $1.44tn (£1.01tn) this year, according to IDC, which also predicts that the US will see year-on-year growth of just 0.1 per cent in overall IT spending.
"Fourth-quarter data from a number of key markets and geographies clearly show that companies have been very quick to pull back their spending," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC.
This is certainly reflected in IDC's figures for overall IT spending in western Europe, which is expected to grow only 0.1 per cent year on year in 2009, down from a November forecast of 1.2 per cent. IDC believes that IT spending in Britain and Germany should stay flat this year, while France and Italy will see negative growth.
Growth in Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, has also slowed dramatically, from an earlier forecast of four per cent to 1.4 per cent.
However, Stephen Minton, vice president of worldwide markets and strategies at IDC, sees some light at the end of the tunnel.
"While the outlook for 2009 is now worse than we thought just three months ago, we still expect IT spending to recover somewhat in 2010, and gain momentum through the rest of the forecast period," he said.
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