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PC shipments in Western Europe look set to grow by 47 per cent over the next five years.

Research group Dataquest forecasts the sector will see a compound annual growth rate of 10.5 per cent, boosting unit shipments to more than 45 million in 2004.

But this spurt will not be matched by revenues from PCs – they are expected to rise by just 7.7 per cent for the same period, largely due to falling average PC prices.

Germany is expected to continue its lead in the region – its shipments in 2000 represented almost a quarter of the total for Western Europe. The UK is currently at number two, with expected shipments of 8.9 million units in 2004 – up from the projected 7.1 million this year. France is in third place.

"The PC industry is plagued by both a short-term memory and overly optimistic expectations of high double-digit growth continuing for ever," said Howard Seabrook, vice president and service director at Dataquest.

"Since it has been a miserable six or so months for European PC shipments, then many find it hard to be objective about the rest of 2000.

"It's important to remember that the fundamentals of the European market remain the same. There is still plenty of headroom in both the professional and private sector." ®

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