Gartner analysts, summing up fourth quarter IT spending and looking ahead for 2012, offered global scenarios that could play out not so much from good to bad, but mildly bad to far worse. During a Jan. 10 webinar, Gartner analysts revised the firm's global IT spending forecast for 2012 from 4.6% to 3.7%, pointing to a global economic slowdown, the Eurozone crisis and the recent floods in Thailand. While the floods have received considerably less media attention than Japan's catastrophic earthquakes and tsunami, they're expected to have a far greater, and indeed unprecedented, effect on the tech industry, with no global OEMs expected to receive 100% of the HDDs they require. The good news, all agreed, is that 2012 is no 2009. Despite the forecast reduction, there's nonetheless an expectation of some growth, and companies are still spending, if in select areas. One such area is software, where investments are shifting from growth-oriented opportunities to solutions that enable organizations to do more with the same number of people.
Three economies to pay attention to: the U.S., Western Europe and China. Things are on the mend in the U.S., where subdued growth is expected to replace double-dip recession fears. Western Europe, however, appears headed for a recession in 2012, with the questions being how badly and for how long. China's housing growth, it's feared, could be a bubble.
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