US suppliers in search of scapegoats for flagging performance may have to look outside Europe for once in 1997, with research firm IDC predicting the European IT market is set to grow at 8.3 per cent this year.
A number of US suppliers have blamed recent financial difficulties on poor European performance and unfavourable economic conditions in the region. But IDC predicts that increased spending on the Year 2000 crisis and the systems conversions associated with the Single European Currency mean that there is boom time ahead for companies selling in Europe.
In addition, IDC expects the European economy to bounce back into steady growth in 1997 following a "momentary economic hiatus" in 1996. At $197 billion, the western European IT market in 1997 will equate to approximately 29 per cent of worldwide sales.
Andrew Doyle, research analyst with IDC's European IT Market Perspectives, said: "In a substantial amount of cases we are seeing a hastening of the upgrade cycle to become date and currency compliant, rather than looking for patches to cover existing architectures."
The UK is set to be the strongest overall performer with 9.2 per cent growth, but substantial expansion can be expected in Greece where the immaturity of the market leaves significant room for new sales. At the other end of the scale, Italy?s turbulent economic conditions will combine with the troubles of its national champion Olivetti to slow growth.
But there is bad news for PC suppliers as the market in parts of Europe, particularly Scandanavia, reaches saturation point. On the other hand, software suppliers can expect to enjoy a continuation of their traditional steady growth of around 10.7 per cent.
The predictions come from the 'IT Barometer First Quarter 1997: Market Analysis and Forecast' report, IDC's quarterly interpretation of trends within the European IT Market.
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