IDC Predicts Recovery In European IT Spending

LONDON – MARCH 7, 2002 – IT spending in Europe has bottomed out, and the beginnings of a gradual recovery are already appearing, according to IDC's monthly-updated index of technology expenditure across Western Europe. IDC has increased its 2002 growth forecast for annual IT spending in Western Europe, from 6.4% in January to 6.6% in the newly released February update. This marks a recovery from growth of 5% during 2001, and growth will accelerate to 9% in 2003 in line with overall economic recovery.


"Data has emerged in recent weeks, providing early signs of overall improvement in the European business environment," said Stephen Minton, Director of IDC's European IT Markets Center. "After the downturn in spending which characterized the second half of 2001, there are now leading indicators of an imminent rise in demand."

In the new forecasts, the fastest-growing market in Western Europe in 2002 will be Sweden, where the market is expected to rebound with an 8.1% increase in IT spending this year. Strong growth is also expected in France, Italy, Finland, Spain and the UK. The weakest markets will be Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland.

"In central Europe, the downturn in the German economy has affected IT budgets," said Minton. "But even here, we see positive signs of a gradual recovery, with the beginnings of an improvement in business confidence levels. While our forecasts are heavily dependent on economic factors, the improvement in the US economy will also have a positive impact on European prospects."

"The myth that over-spending on IT, the so-called bubble, will deflate IT demand for the next two years, will be put to rest as the economy recovers," Minton added. "Continued innovation, new technology platforms, clear ROI on technology spending, wireless and broadband roll-out, and centrality of ebusiness to the wider economy, these things will make increases in IT spending an unstoppable force."

IDC's February update of current forecasts and market conditions in Western Europe is found in the newly-released bulletin, European Executive CTA February 2002: Shifting Sands for Server Vendors, IDC # A25J which is available for purchase from your local IDC office or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.