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Gartner: Global IT spending to hit $3.7 trillion in '13

The research firm spots some easing of pessimism, saying now that it expects spending on IT products and services to rise by 4.2 percent in 2013, up from the prior forecast of 3.8 percent.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

IT spending around the world is likely to hit $3.7 trillion for the coming year, according to a report out today from Gartner.

The latest projection calls for an increase in spending of 4.2 percent in 2013, an improvement over Gartner's 3.8 percent estimate from last year's third quarter.

But the rise will mostly derive from growth in the value of foreign currencies versus the dollar, the research firm said. With that piece out of the picture, the actual gain would be around 3.9 percent.

"Uncertainties surrounding prospects for an upturn in global economic growth are the major retardants to IT growth," Richard Gordon, a managing vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "This uncertainty has caused the pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012."

Drilling down further, businesses are expected to spend $666 billion this year on PCs, tablets, mobile phones, and printers, a 6.3 percent rise from 2012. However, that's down from Gartner's prior estimate of $706 billion, a 7.9 percent gain from last year.

Over the longer haul, spending from 2012 through 2016 is now likely to rise only 4.5 percent each year, down from the previous forecast of 6.4 percent annually.

What's the catalyst for the lower estimates? Gartner believes spending will drop on PCs and tablets and only marginally rise on mobile phones and printers.

"The tablet market has seen greater price competition from Android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets," Gordon said. "It is ultimately this shift toward relatively lower-priced tablets that lowers our average selling prices forecast for 2012 through 2016, which in turn is responsible for slowing device spending growth in general, and PC and tablet spending growth in particular."