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IDC crimps PC forecasts, cites US outlook

'Host of risk factors'

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IDC has lowered forecasts for world PC sales in 2005, citing a cautious outlook in the US and delayed recovery in Japan for the adjustment.

Last year PC shipments in the US grew 11 per cent, but this year the market is expected to ease to 7.6 per cent growth. "While IT buyers in the United States have indicated firm intentions to buy in 2005, we have kept the US forecast modest because of what we see as a host of risk factors," Roger Kay, IDC vice president of Client Computing, said. "These factors include a recovery that appears to be getting long in the tooth, a lack of jobs growth, rising budget and trade deficits, persistently high oil prices, a treasury-draining foreign war, rising interest rates, a stock market that continues to move sideways, and record-low household savings rates."

The analyst firm now anticipates worldwide unit shipment growth during the year of 9.7 per cent, compared with its last forecast of 10.1 per cent growth, made in November 2004. But growth in the longer term looks solid with demand shifting to later years - IDC's growth forecast remains above eight per cent per annum through to the end of 2009. According to Loren Loverde, who runs IDC's PC market tracking, long-term drivers such as mobile adoption, replacement of older systems, and growing penetration will support healthy growth through the end of the decade.

Total worldwide shipments are expected to reach 195.4 million 2004 and value is expected to grow 5.23 per cent to $209bn. IDC forecast PC shipments of 273 million with a value of $245bn in 2009.

According to IDC, PC demand was "fairly robust" in Q4 2004. It expects continued strength in portables and in emerging markets this year.

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