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Economic and profit growth will boost US spending on IT kit this year. The fourth quarter on 2003 saw good growth, especially in networking gear, according to Forrester Research.

The analyst firm forecasts spending may be a little lower than expected in the first quarter due to price cutting, but growth will continue.

Computer hardware sales will grow 10 per cent over the year. Software will grow 8 per cent mostly in infrastructure and security spending although there will be some increase in enterprise applications.

The research also reveals that hardware price falls are slowing - suggesting stronger demand.

Forrester also announced its first poll of CIO confidence. It talked to 112 CIOs, 75 per cent of whom were from companies with more than 1,000 employees.

Two-thirds of respondents believe the business climate in their sector will improve over the year. But more than half expect IT spending to "remain at the budgeted run rate for the remainder of the year".

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