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CIOs feeling happier about IT prospects

Confidence in health of economy is rising, and some company tech chiefs predict an IT overspend, according to Forrester Research.

Chief information officers' confidence in the current health of the economy and IT spending remains "bullish," according to a recent report from Forrester Research.

The analyst group's quarterly poll aims to gauge the confidence of 151 CIOs of North American companies on current and future business conditions, future IT spending and expectations.

In the latest poll, for the third quarter of 2005, technology managers' confidence has risen significantly since the second quarter. However, Forrester warns that the disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina could have a negative impact on expectations and confidence in the fourth quarter.

Eighty-six percent of CIOs reported a strong or very strong business climate in the third quarter, compared with 70 percent in the second quarter. Seventy-eight percent reported some increase in IT spending compared with last year.

IT spending projections for the rest of the year improved, with only 6 percent predicting that they will underspend their budget, while a quarter expect to overspend.

Confidence about the future business climate is also strong, with 86 percent of CIOs saying they expect the climate to continue improving in 2006.

"Since consumers seem to be shrugging off the effects of higher energy prices and interest rates through July, companies and their CIOs seem to have done the same," the report said.

Andy McCue of reported from London.