Computer sales were strong in Europe in the second quarter 2004, analyst firm IDC has confirmed.

According to preliminary data for the quarter, computer sales saw a 20.3 per cent growth in the period when compared to the same quarter last year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

This has been driven by continued strong consumer demand and a rebound in corporate spending. Consumers also began renewing their desktop machines.

"Desktop sales have been a major driver this quarter, boosted by an increasing number of corporate refreshes across the region and driven by the need for hardware replacement and OS migration," said IDC.

Demand for notebooks remained robust with over 29 per cent growth year-on-year; the rate of growth in demand for notebooks has fallen compared to last year, when notebook demand grew 40 per cent.

"While the market remains a major vendor battlefield and prices are under pressure, with a large share of low-entry systems price erosion has slowed slightly this quarter as many vendors opted for healthier revenue and margin results," the analysts said.

There is no space for industry complacency, IDC warned: Karine Paoli, research director for its EMEA personal computing group, said: "However, economic growth expectations remain patchy across the region and may affect spending behaviour in the commercial and consumer spaces in some countries – and will therefore force the industry to maintain aggressive pricing to keep demand afloat in the second half of the year".