Gartner has raised its outlook for 2011 global IT spending from its previous forecast of 3.5 percent growth. In 2010, the IT industry performed better than Gartner's previous forecast of 3.2 percent growth. Gartner analysts said currency exchange rate fluctuations have continued to affect the U.S. dollar-denominated forecast. Of the 2.2 percentage point increase in IT spending growth in 2010, 1.6 percent is attributable to the recent devaluation of the U.S. dollar against other currencies.
"Aided by favorable U.S. dollar exchange rates, global IT spending growth is expected to exceed 5 percent in 2010, but a similar level of growth in 2011 -- while forecast -- is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty, said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.
The telecom equipment market is poised for the strongest growth in 2011, with worldwide telecom equipment spending forecast to grow 9.1 percent. Strong sales of mobile devices in the third quarter of 2010, driven by smartphones in mature markets and white box devices in emerging markets, as well as stronger local currencies, resulted in an upward revision of Gartner's forecast.
The computing hardware segment is forecast to grow 7.5 percent in 2011, but Gartner analysts said vendors face possible challenges, particularly in the area of PC growth, given likely weak economic growth through the first half of 2011.
More-detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry will be presented in the Gartner webinar IT Spending Forecast, 4Q10 Update: 2010 Ends on the Upside. The complimentary webinar will be hosted by Gartner on January 11 at 11 a.m. ET. Registration required.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report Forecast Alert: IT Spending, Worldwide, 4Q10 Update . The report provides more details on Gartner's outlook for the IT industry through 2014.