US sales of PCs and related equipment fell by nearly 12 per cent during January, outstripping the average for other durable items of 5.3 per cent.
The decline outstripped forecasts for general consumables, which had been set at four per cent by analysts. "January's weakness mitigated December's strength, with both surprising, albeit in opposite directions," said Thomson Financial managing economist Jeoff Hall.
Despite the poor forecast though, especially for vendor's US February shipments, analysts are expecting tonight's fourth quarter results from Dell to beat expectations.
The forecast will be the first to take into account Dell's move into retail earlier this year.