For the first time in the 18-month history of IDC FutureScan, all the indicators have lined up to depict an expectation of 5 percent growth in U.S. IT spending this year.

Buyer expectations come in with an index value of 1047 (4.7 percent expected growth), vendor revenue forecasts come in at 1045, and the macroeconomic indicator at 1059. IDC's most recent forecast for U.S. IT spending growth in 2006 is 5 percent.

The indicators actually dropped a bit from last month - 25 points on the Buyer Intent and 6 points for the market indicators. IDC attributed the fall in macroeconomics to lower expectations for GDP and profit growth in the U.S. for 2006 compared to 2005, and the fall in user expectations to an "echo" of the reaction to Katrina.

FutureScan is a set of market metrics that measure supply and demand in the IT industry based on leading indicators and customer surveys. Values reflect expectations of future growth, with an index value of 1000 indicating zero growth and each additional 10 points representing roughly 1 percent of expected growth or contraction.

For January, buyer intent, which reflects market demand for IT products and services over the next 12 months, fell to 1047 from 1072 in December. The market indicators number, which combines input from economic and IT industry revenue forecasts, dropped from 1057 to 1051.

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