NZ leads world in IT spending as percentage of GDP

A global study of spending on hardware, software and other technology items, including wages for IT workers, shows New Zealand leads the world in IT spending as a percentage of GDP.

          A global study of spending on hardware, software and other technology items, including wages for IT workers, shows New Zealand led the world in IT spending as a percentage of GDP.

          The study, produced by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) in cooperation with International Data Corporation (IDC), shows that the information and communication technology industry was worth $US2.1 trillion in 1999. It is projected to become a $US2.4 trillion industry in 2003 and surpass $US3 trillion in 2004, according to the study titled "Digital Planet 2000: The Global Information Economy."

          Researchers gathered data from government agencies and IT industry sources in more than 50 countries and regions that comprise 98% of worldwide spending on hardware, software and services, telecommunications hardware and services, office equipment and internal IT spending, including expenditures on IT employees, capital depreciation and the internal IT spending budgets.

          The study found that New Zealand led the world in IT spending as a percentage of GDP at 10.5%, while Switzerland spent the highest per capita, at $US3335, followed by Japan at $US2854 and the US at $US2792.

          The top 10 countries ranked in order of IT spending in 1999 were the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Brazil, Italy, Canada, China and Australia. The top 10 countries represented 80% of the global IT spending in 1999.

          The appearance of China and Brazil in the top ten ranking is significant, Harris Miller, president of WITSA, says.The IT industry's compound annual growth rate of more than 7% indicates the sector continues to outpace other industries, and the potential for future growth is still extraordinary, Miller says.

          The study also finds that Latin America's 12.7% growth rate in information and communication technology spending from 1998 to 1999 was well ahead of the 7.3% growth rate in spending in North America and the 5.7% spending growth rate in western Europe for those two years. IT spending growth in the Middle East/Africa region and the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan set a blazing pace of 15.9 and 19.5% respectively.

          The study also found that by region, North America continues to lead the globe in overall IT spending at $US817 billion in 1999; Eastern Europe spent the least at $US30 billion.

          An executive summary of the report is available free on the Web at http://www.witsa.org.

          WITSA is an international consortium of 41 information technology industry associations, including the Information Technology Association of America. Electronic Data Systems, the Nasdaq Stock Market, American Express, Merant International and Satyam Computer Services sponsored the study.

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