The pace of the global IT industry continued to lose momentum in January, dipping for the second consecutive month as many global companies report their year-end earnings. The Infoconomy Index, which charts the rate of revenue growth at the world’s 200 largest IT companies, dropped 0.8% during the month to 7.6%.
The growth rate among the subset of European companies bucked that global trend, which is predominately influenced by US companies. The 50 vendors that provide the basis for the European Index rose 0.9% to 9.3%, up from 8.4% in December.
Although the global index is down 3.4% from its January 2005 high, the sector is still in relative health and forecasts for growth in 2006 remain optimistic.
However, weak revenues amongst some of the industry’s giants in the last quarter continue to exert downward pressure. Revenues at IBM sank 12% in the three months to the end December, although this figure drops to only 1% if revenue from the divested PC business is removed; data warehouse and financial systems supplier NCR reported revenues down 4%; and revenues at comms equipment maker Lucent were down 16%.
Other performances were positive, if below par. Fourth quarter revenues rose 6% at semiconductor leader Intel and 3% at systems and services vendor Unisys, while systems management software company CA turned in 5% growth in its latest period.
Keeping the Index buoyant was solid growth from Accenture (12%), EMC (15%), Microsoft (9%), Sun (17%), Citrix (26%), Infosys (32%) and Research in Motion (53%). Business applications software provider SAP was the star among the European companies, with revenue growth of 15%.
As the accounting books for 2005 are audited, though, the industry looks to be heading to a growth rate around 6% in coming months.
The Infoconomy 200 Index measures the overall growth rate of the IT industry by tracking the financial results of the world’s most important publicly listed IT companies.