Tech spending continues to decline

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La Jolla, Calif.--Technology spending continues to lag behind other categories in the current economy and has deteriorated month by month since February, according to a study by database marketer Harte-Hanks Inc.

Reduced spending plans reported between October 2001 and April 2002 provide evidence of the magnitude of the technology spending malaise. In just the past three months, the overall index dropped steadily, from 0.9 in February to 0.79 in March and 0.66 in April.

However, there are indications that the trend may be reversing.

In February, the number of respondents who said they plan on buying PCs rose 36%; the number of respondents who said they plan on buying servers rose 12%. Meanwhile, software and storage buying both declined, while local area network (LAN) buying seems to be leveling off after two consecutive monthly declines.

Some opportunities exist in the government, education and medical industry segments, according to Harte-Hanks. Those segments reported the highest percentage of buyers with plans to increase spending.

Harte-Hanks polled about 10,000 information technology buyers in its business database for the study.

--Carol Krol

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