IDC Predicts U.S. PC Market to Decline for the First Time Ever in 2001

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 6, 2001 – Based on new data, IDC has revised its U.S. PC shipment forecast for 2001, lowering it from the previously expected 2.2% growth to a 6.3% decline from 2000. IDC has also taken down its worldwide forecast number for the full year, dropping it from 10.3% to only 5.8% over 2000. The worldwide performance was strongly affected by a swooning U.S. market.


U.S. consumer sales for 2001 are now expected to fall by 17.3%, based on the presumption of a continuing poor economic environment. "While we believe that the shape of the seasonal pattern will be normal," said Roger Kay, director of Client Computing at IDC, "the yearend uplift will not be as buoyant as is typical at that time of year. Consumers have still not emerged from the shell they crawled into late last year." The final tally of consumer shipments in the United States in the first quarter of 2001 showed this market had declined by 26.4% from the first quarter last year.

Up through the first quarter, commercial shipments in the United States held up reasonably well, achieving mid-single-digit growth rates. However, IDC believes commercial spending will be reduced more dramatically in the coming quarters, as declines in consumer spending spill over into the commercial segment. IDC projects shipments to the U.S. commercial segment will be flat in 2001 with growth of only 0.6%.

IDC now believes that, while the United States is not clearly in recession (i.e., some sectors, like services, remain healthy), several manufacturing industries, notably automobiles, steel, and computers, are experiencing clear retrenchment, and the related economic dislocation is likely to carry on into 2002. IDC now expects unit shipments in the United States to rise by only 4.6% in 2002 over 2001.

PC shipment growth is also expected to decline somewhat outside the United States. IDC’s most recent numbers show growth outside the United States of 12.9% for 2001, down from a previous forecast of 15.1%, bringing worldwide growth for the year down to 5.8%. Growth outside the United States is expected to rise to 16% in 2002, with worldwide growth of 12.2%.

Factors contributing to slower growth outside the United States include falling consumer spending in Western Europe and declining growth in Asian markets following two years of extremely high growth. The markets in Canada and Latin America will slow somewhat in the wake of a weaker U.S. economy, and poor conditions in Turkey continue to pull down growth in the Middle East. Offsetting these negative factors, the commercial market in Western Europe appears to have begun a slight recovery.

"With the United States clearly in the tank right now, the question is to what extent Europe and Asia will follow," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "The commercial segment in Western Europe is showing some promise, but the consumer segment looks more shaky. The heavily export-dependent countries in Asia could also be vulnerable to the U.S. slowdown, although low penetration rates in many countries leaves room for double-digit growth for the foreseeable future."

U.S. and Worldwide Unit PC Shipments and Growth, 1999-2005

(Unit Shipments are in millions)

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

United States 45.1 48.4 45.3 47.4 54.1 58.2 60.8

U. S. Growth 7.3% -6.3 4.6% 14.2% 7.5% 4.5%

Worldwide 113.6 131.3 138.9 155.9 178.1 197.2 215.5

Worldwide Growth 15.6% 5.8% 12.2% 14.3% 10.7% 9.3%

Source: IDC, June 2001

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.

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