Lower prices and the improved performance of laptops will fuel continued growth in PC sales this year and next, despite concerns a recession could be on the horizon for the US, according to research firm Gartner.

Worldwide PC shipments will grow 12.3 percent this year, dropping slightly to 11 percent growth in 2008, Gartner said. Emerging markets will drive desktop PC sales, which will also be boosted by the start of a new replacement cycle through the end of the year.

Emerging markets will average 18.6 percent growth in unit sales, while mature markets will see seven percent growth, Gartner said.

The recent economic turbulence, caused in part by problems in the US mortgage markets, should not affect PC shipments in the coming months. However, Gartner warned that PC vendors should closely look at their supply chain in case conditions change.