High profile analyst firm cuts industry growth forecasts in face of global economy pressures

PC market faces slowdown

Research company Gartner has flagged up the damage a weaker global economy could wreak on the PC industry, citing the US recession, a slowdown in the Chinese economy and rising oil prices as possible contributing factors.

The firm does admit that the industry currently stands firm – claiming worldwide PC shipments will rise 10.9 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007’s figure of 271.2 million. However that figure has been cut from the 11.6 per cent rise it forecasted earlier in the year.

“In many respects, the PC market is fundamentally in good shape,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, reported CRN. “Mobile PCs continue to exhibit strong momentum, emerging-market growth remains robust, and desk-based PC replacement activity is stirring.”

“However, a deepening U.S. recession, the rising possibility of a sharp slowdown in China’s economy following the Beijing Olympics, and the elevated price of oil mean global PC shipments face increasing economic headwinds.”

“Slowing gross domestic product (GDP) growth can and does affect PC shipments through its impact on consumer incomes and business profits. Although the impact has probably softened over time as PC prices have fallen and PCs have become more indispensable to work and play, PCs are still far from being completely recession-proof. A deeper and more extended global slowdown emanating from the US and China would slow PC unit growth even more by sapping mobile PC demand, slowing emerging-market growth, and delaying replacement activity.”

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