More gloomy news for the IT industry after analyst firm Gartner predicted that worldwide IT spending is expected to decline by a further six percent this year.

The firm said it was expecting to see IT spend total $3.2 trillion (£1.97 trillion) in 2009, a six percent fall against the $3.4 trillion it saw in 2008.

This is a marked drop compared to a March Gartner forecast, when the analysts predicted a 3.8 per cent decline in IT spending. Analysts explained that continued weak IT spending during the recession and exchange rate fluctuations had lead to Gartner lowering its forecast.

Hardware will be the hardest hit IT sector, with spending projected to decline 16.3 per cent. But all four major segments of the market - hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications - will be impacted by the slowdown, which is "something that did not happen in the 2001 downturn.

"While the global economic downturn shows signs of easing, this year IT budgets are still being cut and consumers will need a lot more persuading before they can feel confident enough to loosen their purse strings," said Richard Gordon, research vice president and head of global forecasting at Gartner.

"The forecast decline in spending growth for the hardware and software segments in 2009 has almost stabilised, and only minor downward revisions have been made to these forecasts this quarter," Gordon said.

"However, the full impact of the global recession on the IT services and telecommunications sectors is still emerging, and forecast growth in these areas has been further reduced significantly. Moreover, the rise in the value of the US dollar against most currencies in recent months will have a material downward impact on 2009 global IT spending growth, which by convention we report based on US dollars."