IDC Sees Firming Conditions in Worldwide IT Spending, Market Growth Will Exceed 6% in 2006

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MARCH 23, 2006 – IDC forecasts that worldwide IT spending will increase by 6.3% in 2006, as economic stability in the U.S., Europe, and Japan combines with continued robust growth in emerging markets. Growth will be strongest in the software market at 7%, while hardware and services are both expected to post overall growth of 6% this year.

"Last year, the intensifying infrastructure upgrade cycle drove IT spending to its fastest rate of growth since Y2K," said Stephen Minton, vice president of IDC Worldwide IT Markets. "Buyer activity really picked up in the second half of the year, contributing to improved margins and revenue for systems vendors and worldwide IT spending growth of 6.9% for 2005."

"IDC expects the upgrade cycle to weaken somewhat, leading to slightly weaker overall growth in 2006," said Juan Orozco, program manager, IT Markets and Strategies. "There will be greater momentum, however, in project-based spending and key application areas, including business intelligence and content management, as enterprises return to a focus on the front-end, strategic importance of technology."

In the U.S., overall growth in 2006 will be 5.8%, a slight decline from the 6.4% expansion of 2005. Strongest growth will be posted in network equipment, outsourcing services, and system infrastructure software, including security tools.

Elsewhere, improving economic conditions are contributing to an enhanced outlook for IT spending in Western Europe. where overall IT growth will reach 6% this year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will enjoy 9% growth in 2006, led by double-digit spending gains in China (14%) and India (21%).

"The global economy will remain stable and robust, with marginal changes in growth compared to 2005," added Anna Toncheva, program manager and economist, IT Markets and Strategies. "Although the engines of acceleration will rotate towards Japan and Europe, China and the U.S. will remain at the helm. Given the increased focus on productivity and innovation during the current capex cycle, IT investments will dominate replacement spending in gross investment in the developed economies."

IDC's industry standard Worldwide Black Book Query Tool, Version 1 2006 (IDC #34909) provides new and updated forecasts for IT spending in 54 countries around the world. IT spending forecasts for the period 2005-2010 focus on 25 market segments across hardware, software and services, for countries in all regions including North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Additional analysis of the latest Worldwide Black Book forecast can be found in Worldwide IT Spending Update: 4Q05 Black Book Forecasts (IDC #35053).

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Black Book or any other products from IDC's Global Research Organization, please contact Amie White at 508-935-4653 or awhite@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

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