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IT downturn hits Europe

Spending slowdown now rife in European corps

The slowdown in IT spending being suffered in the US has now properly hit Europe, according to a study by financial analysts Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch's latest survey of 50 US and 15 European chief information officers revealed that around a third of European companies have frozen their budgets.

Staff cutbacks came up frequently throughout the report, with most companies admitting to slowing down the rollout of major projects.

"This report isn't really identifying anything we don't already know. The market slowdown has meant cutbacks," said a spokesperson for Intel, which cut 5,000 jobs last month. "We hope the market will begin to climb toward the end of the year, creating new job opportunities."

In the report, Merrill Lynch's global strategist Steven Milunovich blamed the economy rather than previous market spending for the current situation. This implies recovery will also be dependent on renewed economic growth.

According to the report the slowdown has not put IT chiefs off making their companies hi-tech, because the the fear of falling behind competitors is greater than the fear of spending too much.


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