Global spending on information technology (IT) will grow more slowly than expected this year due to weaker economies and floods in Thailand, and will decline in western Europe, research firm Gartner said on Thursday.
Gartner cut its forecast for 2012 worldwide IT spending growth to 3.7 percent from its earlier estimate of 4.6 percent growth. In 2011, worldwide IT spending totalled $3.7 trillion, up 6.9 percent from 2010.
"Faltering global economic growth, the euro zone crisis and the impact of Thailand's floods on hard-disk drive (HDD) production have all taken their toll on the outlook for IT spending," Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement.
Gartner said the floods will cut the supply of HDDs by 25 percent or more during the next six to nine months as Thailand has been a major hub for finished HDDs and their components.
"Rebuilding the destroyed manufacturing facilities will also take time and the effects of this will continue to ripple throughout 2012 and very likely into 2013," Gordon said.
Gartner said that, due to the HDD shortages and the cautious environment for hardware spending, it had also cut its PC shipment forecast.
"With the eurozone crisis causing uncertainty for both businesses and consumers in Western Europe we have adjusted our forecast, and we expect IT spending in Western Europe to decline 0.7 percent in 2012," Gordon said.
(Editing by Mark Potter)