Gartner downgrades 2013 global IT spending forecast on currency shifts

The analyst firm now says spending growth will be two per cent this year, revised downward from 4.1 per cent

Gartner has lowered its expectations for growth this year in global IT spending, saying it will rise 2 per cent to US$3.7 trillion. Earlier this year, the analyst firm predicted 2013 growth of 4.1 per cent.

The reduction "mainly reflects the impact of recent fluctuations in U.S. dollar exchange rates," Gartner said Tuesday.

Predicted weaker sales for devices played another role in Gartner's downgrade, analyst and managing vice president Richard Gordon said in a statement. Gartner had previously forecast 7.9 per cent growth in device revenue, but has now dropped that estimate to 2.8 per cent due to continued decline in PC sales.

"While new devices are set to hit the market in the second half of 2013, they will fail to compensate for the underlying weakness of the traditional PC market," Gartner said in a statement.

Meanwhile, tablet sales are expected to grow 38.9 per cent and mobile phones 9.3 per cent in 2013, according to the announcement. Overall, device revenue will total $US695 billion in 2013, Gartner said.

Enterprise software revenue is expected to show the most strength, rising 6.4 per cent this year to $US304 billion, driven by higher demand for CRM (customer relationship management) software.

Data center systems sales will rise 2.1 per cent to $US143 billion and IT services revenue is set to jump 2.2 per cent to $US926 billion, both slightly higher growth rates than in 2012, according to Gartner.

The largest segment in Gartner's survey, telecom spending, will rebound this year, growing 0.9 per cent to $US1.65 trillion. "Fixed broadband is showing slightly higher than anticipated growth," Gartner said. "The impact of voice substitution is mixed as it is moving faster in the consumer sector, but slightly slower in the enterprise market."

Last year, telecom spending fell 0.7 per cent.

Gartner is planning to discuss the forecast in more detail during a webcast July 9.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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