Tough year ahead for IT industry, warns OECD


22/12/2008 - The economic downturn will hit the Internet economy hard in 2009, according to the latest available OECD estimates.

The IT Outlook 2008 says that the IT industry is likely to have grown by 4% at most in 2008 compared to the previous year. But with the outlook for the global economy worsening and business and consumer confidence plumetting, growth will remain flat or decline in 2009.

Some sectors are expected to weather the storm better than others. Spending on software and IT services, including outsourcing, by governments and business is likely to continue. Internet-related sales and investments in infrastructure, driven by demand for high-speed Internet from consumers and business, will remain solid although some infrastructure investments may be held over due to the credit crisis.

But the semiconductor industry is set to fall nearly 6% in 2009, after weak growth of 2.2% in 2008. And semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales - a leading indicator for the sector and for ICT goods – have plunged.  Many other IT sectors will also struggle, having invested heavily in growing their business in emerging markets and in new goods and services to boost margins in weakening OECD markets in 2008.

Major corporate customers in sectors hard hit by the downturn, such as banking, insurance and retail, are also cutting back spending plans in 2009.

The IT Outlook also analyses ICT trends and developments. Global restructuring of the industry continued in 2007 and 2008. Asia, Eastern Europe and Mexico are becoming increasingly important as both producers and new growth markets as manufacturers seek to lower their assembly costs of IT goods.

For further information, journalists should contact Graham Vickery of OECD’s Information and Communications Policy division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 93 87).


For a copy of the report, journalists should contact Spencer Wilson (tel. + 33 1 45 24 81 18), OECD Media division.


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