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2021 Global PC Shipment Forecast Raised To 0% From -7% Following Strong Expected Results In The Fourth Quarter Of 2020

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How Did Our Ratings Perform During 2020

2021 Global PC Shipment Forecast Raised To 0% From -7% Following Strong Expected Results In The Fourth Quarter Of 2020

S&P Global Ratings now expects PC manufacturers, including Lenovo Group Ltd., Dell Technologies Inc., and HP Inc., to report a strong increase in PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2020 based on a recent report by the research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) that projected global PC shipments rose by 26% year over year to 92 million units during the quarter. The strong volume of PC shipments reflects the continued elevated demand stemming from the increase in working-from-home (WFH) arrangements, which will likely persist into early 2021 given the indications of component and production capacity shortages in recent months.

Therefore, we now forecast that the volume of PC shipments will remain flat year over year in 2021, which compares with our previous forecast for a 7% decline. We are also raising our forecast for the increase in global information technology (IT) spending to 4.0% from 3.4% due to the rise in PC shipments (see the table below). Consumer PC demand remains strong across the price spectrum, from low-end computers to high-end gaming PCs, and the demand from educational institutions for Chromebook devices has been resilient. After a robust 13% increase in PC shipments in 2020, the highest since 2010 according to IDC, we expect the positive momentum to carry into first half of 2021 before reversing in the second half, which reflects our expectation for flat year-over-year growth.

Growth Forecasts
2019a 2020e 2021e
Global GDP growth 2.8% (4.0%) 5.0%
Global IT spending 4.2% (1.7%) 4.0%
IT services 4% (3%) 3%
Software 9% 2% 4%
Semiconductors (12%) 4% 5%
Network equipment 3% (5%) 2%
Mobile telecom equipment 3% (1%) 0%
External storage 1% (7%) 5%
PC (1%) 13% 0%
Smartphone (2%) (10%) 7%
Server (2%) 3% 4%
Printer (15%) 1%

a--Actual. e--Estimate. IT--Information technology. Note: Numbers in parentheses are negative. Source: S&P Global Ratings.

For more insight into our views, please refer to our most recent Industry Top Trends article on the technology sector, published Dec. 10, 2020, on RatingsDirect.

Related Research

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Primary Credit Analyst:Andrew Chang, San Francisco + 1 (415) 371 5043;
Secondary Contact:David T Tsui, CFA, CPA, San Francisco + 1 415-371-5063;

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