Gartner: IT spending to grow 4.6 percent this year

Last year, spending fell by 4.6 percent. This year, a recovery in emerging markets will likely lead the way in both short-term and long-term gains, says Gartner.

Lance Whitney
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.
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IT spending around the world will rise 4.6 percent this year to reach $3.4 trillion, according to research released Thursday by Gartner.

Though modest, the growth will show much needed improvement over last year when spending actually dipped 4.6 percent from 2008. Gains are expected to hit all major segments of the IT market, including hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications. This latest forecast is also higher than Gartner's previous prediction from last quarter when the firm said it didn't expect IT spending to hit 2008 levels until 2011.


Around the world, a recovery in emerging markets will likely lead the way in both short-term and long-term gains in IT spending. For 2010, Gartner forecasts spending will rise 9.3 percent in Latin America, 7.7 percent in the Middle East and Africa, and 7 percent in Asia Pacific countries.

Other regions will likely rebound more gradually, says Gartner, with IT spending growing 5.1 percent in Western Europe, 2.5 percent in the U.S., and 1.8 percent in Japan. Since spending tends to be higher in North America and Europe than in other regions, those two continents will factor more heavily in the overall worldwide growth rate.

Though some growth in spending will come from a rebounding economy, exchange rates will also have a huge impact, says Gartner, which upped its 2010 forecast based largely on a projected decline in the U.S. dollar. Still, the firm sees a sustained recovery ahead triggering a domino effect.

"Although recovery will be slow, over the next 12 to 18 months, gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase, consumer confidence is expected to improve, and the availability of credit should increase," said Gartner Research Vice President Richard Gordon in a statement. "At the same time, pent-up demand for new technologies will be released as enterprises focus on new growth opportunities and increase spending plans."