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Companies see higher tech spending this year

U.S. and Canadian IT executives expect to bump up spending on information technology by almost 4 percent this year, according to an IDC survey.

U.S. and Canadian companies expect to increase their spending on information technology by 3.8 percent this year, according to IDC.

The professional services, retail and wholesale, and banking sectors are expected to see the strongest growth, the research firm said in a report released Wednesday. The survey questioned IT managers and midlevel executives.

Seven out of 10 respondents said that as their organizations see customer relationship management and enterprise management as ways to cut costs, they will continue to boost IT spending through 2004. And 30 percent of respondents said they'll focus mainly on developing strategic applications to improve their organizations' competitiveness.

The forecast tallies well with a projection of 4 percent to 5 percent growth in U.S. technology budgets made by Forrester Research in March. And in March, an IDC survey on the global IT market predicted a 5 percent growth for the IT industry worldwide.