Worldwide IT spending between 2001 and 2003 could be more than £100bn lower than earlier forecasts if the US economic slowdown spreads to Europe, according to market analyst IDC.
IDC believes that scenario is becoming more likely as new economic data points to a more severe economic downturn in Europe.
This could lead to £35bn less in demand for IT products and services from European customers, adding to the expected £71bn shortfall in the rest of the world.
IDC currently predicts 11 percent growth for the European IT market this year. But if the worst economic predictions turn out to be true, that growth may drop to as low as 7.9 percent, according to IDC.
The slowdown could continue into 2002 and even 2003 as Europe tries to maintain growth while controlling inflation.
But it is Germany and Italy who are the most vulnerable countries in this regard with the UK expected to be more stable, according to IDC.
Sales of PCs and networking equipment in Europe have already slowed, but software and services are still expected to show strong growth, according to Simon Minton manager of IDC's Global IT Economic Outlook research program and the European IT Markets Centre.