European ICT Growth Rate Exceeds Global Average

The value of the European market for ICT (information and communications technology) is set to outpace the rest of the world, according to forecasts released by the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO) this week.

The European ICT market will grow by 9.9 percent to 435 billion euros (US$478.5 billion) in 1999 and by 8.9 percent in 2000, while the global ICT market will grow by 8.8 percent in both 1999 and 2000, according to EITO.

These figures represent a significant upgrade over EITO's March forecast when EITO predicted growth rates of 8.2 percent for 1999 and 7.5 percent for 2000.

EITO forecasts that the U.S. market will grow by 8.1 percent in 1999 and 7.6 percent in 2000, while Japanese growth will hover at 4.7 percent this year and rise to 6.3 percent in 2000.

The European ICT market represents 30 percent of the world market compared to the U.S. share of 36 percent and the Japanese share of 11 percent.

Within the ICT sector, information technologies will grow the fastest, registering a 10.7 percent increase in market value in 1999 and 10 percent in 2000. The forecast states that growth will be very high in Portugal and Spain, where it will range from 14 percent to 15 percent.

Professional and consulting services will be a particularly strong segment this year with 16.1 percent growth, while software will grow 13 percent and PCs just 6.4 percent. The telecommunication sector should grow by 9.2 percent in 1999 but slow to 7.9 percent in 2000.

Driving Europe's ICT growth are four factors, according to a statement by Dr. Bruno Lamborghini, EITO Chairman:

-- Y2K projects;

-- preparation for the introduction of euro coins and notes in 2002;-- market integration;-- mobile applications in telecom and IT.

EITO's research is published in collaboration with EUROBIT, a European computer industry group; ECTEL, representing the telecom industry; and the European ICT trade fairs CeBIT in Hanover, SIMO in Madrid and SMAU in Milan.

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