UK PC sales are higher than expected, despite continued lack of corporate demand, analyst firm IDC has revealed.

Shipments declined 7.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2001, compared to the same period in the previous year, the analysts report. Overall, UK PC sales declined 5.2 per cent in 2001. Despite the decline, the results exceeded analyst's expectations, IDC said.

"The UK market performance exceeded expectations, despite the continued impact of the US economic downturn," said Rita Sfeir, research analyst for IDC's European Personal Computing Group. "Sustained consumer sales, lifted by relatively strong demand for notebooks in the retail channel, helped limit further sales erosion," she claimed.

The slight recovery in consumer demand saw desktop market results up from the previous quarter, and declining only 13.4 per cent year-on-year. This was helped by good Christmas sales and assisted by consecutive interest rate cuts, which helped maintain consumer confidence and spending.

"The prospects of a return to positive growth in the first half of 2002 remain limited as the market continues to suffer from restricted investments. The second half of the year should, however, display healthier trends, driven by a rebound in corporate investments and a boost in notebook sales," Sfeir concluded.