Gartner: Expect modest overall growth in IT spending

Research firm Gartner Inc. has revised its outlook for worldwide IT spending this year, predicting the industry as a whole will see 4.6% growth to $3.4 trillion, up from its previous prediction of 3.3% growth, according to its latest figures released today.

That figure contrasts with 2009, when spending fell 4.6%. Gartner revised its forecast upward to account for an expected weakening of the U.S. dollar.

Spending is also expected to increase due to the increasing confidence of CEOs and CFOs as economic conditions gradually improve, said Richard Gordon, a research vice president with Gartner, in avideo.

Emerging markets will see the strongest gains. Gartner predicts that spending will increase 9.3% in Latin America, 7.7% in the Middle East and Africa and 7% in the Asia-Pacific region.

Due to the recession, the U.S. is expected to post only 2.5% growth, with Japan just 1.8%. In a bright spot outside of emerging markets, Gartner expects Western Europe to come in at 5.2% growth.

On the consumer side, confidence appears to be more fragile, Gordon said. "We think consumers are a bit nervous about job prospects," Gordon said.

The recovery from the recession will take between 12 to 18 months. The availability of credit should increase, which will help increase spending, and companies may look to make more hardware investments during the second half of this year, Gordon said.

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