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Study: Data network spending to stall

Spending in the data networking industry will stay flat or fall in 2003 compared to 2002, according to a survey released Thursday by investment firm Merrill Lynch. The survey of 50 chief information officers found that 28 percent said spending this year will be flat, 32 percent said it will be up, and 40 percent said it will be lower than in 2002. On the other hand, 70 percent indicated they would spend more in the second half of the year than in the first.

In addition, 70 percent of respondents said in the past 12 months, overall pricing for data networking equipment either held steady or fell up to 10 percent. Most new spending is earmarked for storage and network security as opposed to traditional routers and switches, Merrill Lynch found.