Research firm IDC on Monday lowered its forecast for IT spending in Asia Pacific region in 2003 by $1 billion to $76.1 billion on account of SARS outbreak and said the effect would be significant but not dramatic.
It also reduced the expected growth rate for the industry in the region to 6.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent.
"The SARS outbreak would have a significant but not dramatic effect in IT spending in Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan," an IDC release said.
It said the IT spending for the second quarter of 2003 would fall short of the previous forecast by 4.7 per cent and by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter.
However, the impact would be minimal in the fourth quarter of 2003, it said.
"The SARS outbreak has clearly depressed market demand but it has also changed some working and consumer habits," Kiting Fok, vice president of Central Research group of IDC was quoted as saying.
The IT industry would have to be inventive in its response to the latest challenge, he added.