Large companies in the U.S. expect IT spending to rise by an average of 2.3 per cent this year, according to an August report conducted by Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

Of those companies, which are mostly in the consumer services and retail industries, 68 per cent said they plan to spend the same or more on IT this year. Only 12 per cent of companies said they expect to cut their IT budgets in the second half of the year.

Forrester predicts 5.6 per cent growth for the IT sector in 2003, ending the year slightly below its 2001 level.