Europe's IT market is mounting a recovery, according to research analyst giant IDC.

IT spending in Western Europe is forecast to grow by 4.4 per cent in 2002, compared to 3.4 per cent in 2001 according to IDC.

By 2003 this figure is set to increase to 6.2 per cent growth. However, the healthy levels of growth sustained in 2000 will not be seen again till 2004, the report says.

Vicky Hawksworth, senior analyst in IDC's European IT markets centre, said: "With the first half of 2002 complete and with no significant improvement in business conditions apparent, the chances of a near-term rebound in IT spending in Western Europe are slim.

"The recent drop in the European stock markets following accounting revelations in the US, coupled with the much-dreaded downturn in consumer spending, have served to aggravate this already weak outlook," she said.

She added that IDC remains "upbeat" about the long-term prospects of the Western European IT market.

All countries in Western Europe will report positive growth in 2002, IDC claims, with Ireland expected to bounce back from its 2001 decline. Sweden will enjoy the highest growth in the region, increasing by 8 per cent, and Finland, France, Italy and the Netherlands will also see stable growth in 2002 at 6 per cent each while the UK will experience 4.5 per cent growth.