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Technology: Recession Deals Two-Year Set-back to IT Spending

By Dick Weisinger

Back in August 2008 at the start of the recent recession, worldwide IT spending growth was strong and increasing at a rate of 10 percent annually.  Gartner at the time predicted that worldwide IT spending would hit $3.6 trillion in 2009.

In fact, in 2008, Gartner vice president and senior research analyst Jim Tully, said that “The U.S.-led economic downturn shows no sign of causing a recession in IT spending.  In subsequent years we will see reduced growth, but the fundamentals remain strong.  Emerging regions, replacement of obsolete systems and some technology shifts are driving growth.”

We all know now that the recession that followed those comments hit much harder than almost anyone anticipated.  Now, in 2011, Gartner has new numbers out for worldwide IT spending.  The current forecast is that we’ll be hitting $3.6 trillion dollars this year, 2011 and two years later than the prediction originally made by Gartner in 2008.  (That’s a huge number.  And to put that in perspective, the 2010 GDP for Germany was only $3.3 trillion.)

Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner, said that “It is a bit surprising that we have not seen a more significant impact on our global IT spending forecast as a results of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, but despite widespread concerns about disruptions to the supply of critical components in the initial aftermath of the natural disaster, there has not been a dramatic impact on overall IT spending.”

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