Global PC shipments will grow by 3 per cent in 2002 to 125.5 million, faster than a previous estimate of of 1.8 per cent, according to IDC research.

All regions except Asia Pacific saw faster sales growth than expected in the fourth quarter 2001, and economic indicators in the key US market point to a recovery, IDC claims.

Several trends in the fourth quarter of 2001 indicate a PC sales recovery – in Europe, sales of commercial desktop and consumer portables picked up in the fourth quarter and are expected to continue growing in 2002.

PC sales in China – which accounts for 42 per cent of PC shipments in Asia Pacific excluding Japan – grew 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, and are expected to continue to drive growth in the region in 2002.

In the US, consumer demand should recover through 2002, along with most commercial segments although the education market will remain weak throughout the year. The recovery in Western Europe is expected to be slower than in the US – due to reserved commercial spending and because the slow down in 2001 was less dramatic.

Japan remains one of the weakest markets, and overall PC shipments in Japan will see a double-digit decline in the first half of 2002.

In 2001, worldwide PC-shipments were 5.2 per cent down on the 2000-level of 128.5 million units. This year's 3 per cent growth will be followed by a sales jump of 10.9 per cent in 2003, when worldwide PC shipments will reach 139.2 million units, IDC said.