Despite turbulence in the Asian economic scene, strong sales elsewhere led to a projected 15% growth in global personal computer sales for the fourth quarter of 1997, International Data Corp says. The US market will see 21% growth, amid a strong holiday buying season. In 1998, the US is expected to continue its strong performance with unit growth of 17%, compared with the worldwide rate of 13.5%. In contrast, the outlook in the Asia/Pacific and Japanese PC markets has worsened, with Asia/Pacific, (excluding Japan) growth 14% in the fourth quarter compared to more than 20% growth for the last two quarters. In Japan, a slight recovery is expected during the fourth quarter after a discouraging third quarter in which sales fell 11%. However, year-over-year PC growth for the fourth quarter is still projected to be negative (-6%), and Japan will finish 1997 with near-flat unit volume compared to 1996. Next year, the Japanese market is expected to post modest positive unit growth of 5%.
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