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Dec 2 2009   3:58PM GMT

The Economist Sees IT Up in 2010

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

I’ve been a subscriber to the British news magazine The Economist since the early 1990s. Every year in late November they release a special publication called “The World in XXXX” where XXXX is the numerical designation for the upcoming year. Thus, I received my copy of “The World in 2010” about a week ago, during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The many, many screens of IT according to The Economist

The many, many screens of IT according to The Economist

This publication includes a section called “The world in figures: Industries” that provides forecasts for 15 key industry sectors in the global economy, among which is a brief¬†prediction for Information Technology in 2010. Here are the highlights of that content:

  • Global IT spending is predicted to increase by 4.4%, and will be led by unsatisfied demand for software and services.
  • PC sales should advance by 8%, with higher sales in netbook and notebook sectors leading the way
  • IT spending/access is not evenly distributed around the globe, where PC availability ranges from a low of 17 per 100 people in Africa and the Middle East, to as high as 97 per 100 in Canada and the US.
  • A big jump in IT spending (13.3% for a total of $80.2B) is forecast for China in 2010, which is also expected to surpass Germany’s IT outlays in 2011
  • Citing the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization, chip sales for 2010 are expected to bounce back by 7.3% in 2010 up to $209B, and to grow by 8.9% in 2011.
  • Asia-Pacific is cited as a particular hot spot for manufacturing growth, primarily because Western electronics makers are sourcing more and more of their production to that region

Will this increase in spending translate into more jobs for IT? I believe the answer is “Yes” but that the relatively modest growth (4.4%) will be matched by relatively modest increases in jobs. Given that IT employment is down by a little more than the overall national rate (10.2% for total US unemployment in October, new numbers for November this coming Friday) it’s unlikely that IT job counts will rise back to pre-recession levels by the end of next year.

Final summary from this blurb: “IT Up in 2010, but jobs will not return to pre-2008 levels.” Final conclusion: things will improve next year, but we won’t get all the way out of the weeds by that year’s end, either.

Note: The content I cited in this blog is available only to registered subscribers to The Economist. Those who do have access will find it at

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