The UK IT market will outstrip its French and German counterparts this year, according to trade body Intellect.
The prediction is based on data from the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO), which shows the UK growing faster than the western European average for 2004.
Europe's IT market as a whole is set to pick up this year, according to EITO, which is predicting growth of 3.1 per cent compared with the paltry 0.6 per cent achieved in 2003.
The UK IT industry will see 2.4 per cent growth in 2004-5 and 4.3 per cent growth in 2005-6.
Charles Ward, marketing and services director at Intellect, attributed this to the UK's greater dynamism "as evidenced by its faster adoption of business process outsourcing, for instance".
The UK is also a bellwether for Europe, he said, pointing to the public spending agenda for e-government. "The rest of Europe is looking at the UK to learn from its experience," he said.
Des Lekerman, managing director of VAR Eurodata, said: "The market has picked back up to third quarter of 1998 levels, but won't return to the same rate of growth we saw in 1999-2000.
"There's more confidence but people are still wary, and they will think twice before spending on IT."
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