IDC's Black Book on IT Spending in '97

IT spending worldwide is expected to jump 12% this year, spurred by strong demand in the US and an anticipated economic upturn in Japan, according to a new report from market researcher International Data Corp.

IT spending worldwide is expected to jump 12% this year, spurred by strong demand in the US and an anticipated economic upturn in Japan, according to a new report from market researcher International Data Corp.

IDC's Worldwide Black Book market research report, announced earlier this week, predicts the market for IT products and services will grow to US$683 billion this year. The expected 12% growth will be somewhat slower than last year's rate of 13%, and the year before which saw 14 percent growth. Even so, it is far stronger than the 5 to 6 percent growth rates seen in the early 1990s.

The U.S. and Sweden, two countries that score highest on the IDC/World Times Information Society Index, spend more than three percent of their gross domestic product on IT products and services, according to the report. But European growth has yet to catch up to U.S. growth. U.S. IT spending has been growing at two to three times the rate of the rest of the economy, at a combined rate of 11 percent from 1990 to 1995. In Europe, the combined annual growth rate during that period was five percent in Europe and is only expected to improve to seven percent by the end of the decade.

While the economic downturn in Japan has led that region to lag the U.S. in IT spending growth during the mid-1990s, some Asian countries are showing strong numbers, according to the report. And average growth is expected to be faster in Asia than the U.S. through the end of the decade. For example, China was the fourteenth largest IT market worldwide last year, and is expected to be the seventh largest market by the end of the decade. Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea are also expected to show strong growth.

IDC, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, can be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.idcresearch.com/.

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