OECD Information Technology Outlook 2010

image of OECD Information Technology Outlook 2010

Information technology (IT) and the Internet are major drivers of research, innovation, growth and social change. The 2010 edition of the OECD Information Technology Outlook analyses the economic crisis and recovery, and suggests that the outlook for IT goods and services industries is good after weathering a turbulent economic period better than during the crisis at the beginning of the 2000s. The industry continues to restructure, with non-OECD economies, particularly China and India, major suppliers of information and communications technology-related goods and services.

The role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in tackling environmental problems and climate change is analysed extensively, with emphasis on the role of ICTs in enabling more widespread improvements in environmental performance across the economy and in underpinning systemic changes in behaviour.

Recent trends in OECD ICT policies are analysed to see if they are rising to new challenges in the recovery. Priorities are now on getting the economy moving, focusing on ICT skills and employment, broadband diffusion, ICT R&D and venture finance, and a major new emphasis on using ICTs to tackle environmental problems and climate change.



Recent Developments and Outlook

The outlook for ICT production and markets is much better than at the time of the 2008 OECD Information Technology Outlook. The macroeconomic outlook has improved since the middle of 2009, although prospects are for a slow and uneven recovery in OECD countries. Projections, both in general and for the ICT sector in particular, have been successively revised upwards. However, unemployment will remain high in 2010, putting pressure on consumer confidence and expenditures, and government budget deficits are at historically high levels. Macroeconomic forecasts combined with business and consumer sentiment suggest that ICT growth in OECD countries will be slow in 2010 at around 3-4%. It is likely to strengthen in 2011 as business investment picks up sharply, unemployment begins to decline and government and private balance sheets start to improve, but with very different performances across segments and markets. As in the last downturn, there is pressure on OECD ICT employment. ICT markets are also shifting to emerging economies which now have one-quarter of global markets, and the top 250 ICT firms include increasing numbers of non-OECD firms. The long-term global performance of the ICT sector will depend on whether businesses and consumers continue to invest in new ICT goods and services and on the extent to which emerging economies remain decoupled from OECD countries and maintain dynamic growth.


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