IT Industry Execs’ Confidence Shaken By Japan Disasters, Middle East Unrest

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Natural disasters in Japan and unrest in the Middle East – not to mention rising oil prices – have taken a toll on IT industry executives’ business confidence. However, those same people expect the uncertainty to abate, and for sales growth to resume this year, according to a new CompTIA survey.

The association recently polled 395 IT companies online to compile its latest IT Industry Business Confidence Index. The index fell 5.1 percentage points in the second quarter to 54.9 on a 100-point scale due to global events.

Still, CompTIA projects that number to rise 5.2 percentage points over the next two quarters as more companies say they plan to boost hiring as sales increase. Among all firms surveyed, the average revenue growth rate expectation for 2011 totaled 13 percent, thanks to a focus on new and existing customers in core markets. Only 20 percent of firms plan to pursue opportunities in new vertical markets.

"Confidence levels about the industry as a whole and about individual companies continue to reflect optimism in a strengthening economy," said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. "The net positive for the industry now stands at 62 percent, and for individual companies at 64 percent. Not long ago, both figures were closer to 50 percent."

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