The growth in spending on IT in Western Europe this year will be bigger than that of North America for the first time, research has shown.
Specialists at IDC said the figures indicate Europe will soon catch up with the US in the sophistication of its IT.
Western Europe's spending will continue to rise more quickly than the US over the coming years, leading to a situation where Western Europe will be spending a higher proportion of its national income on IT, IDC analysts predict. Last year the US spent 4% of its GDP on IT, compared with Europe's 3%.
Europe's rise is led by several countries, including the UK and France whose spending will increase by 11% each this year. But Sweden is furthest ahead, with this year's IDC/World Times Information Society Index ranking the country as number one in IT development, ahead of the US.
The US is forecast to increase IT spending 8% next year compared with Western Europe's 11% rise.