Forrester Revises US Tech Forecast for Trump Presidency

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Researchers still expect the U.S. tech sector to grow to $1.49 trillion in 2017.

Forrester Research expects the U.S. tech sector will grow less under President-elect Donald Trump than it would have under Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Forrester reworked its 2017 U.S. tech market projections after Trump’s November victory because it anticipated a Clinton victory with more predictable policies similar to the last eight years under President Barack Obama.

Forrester still expects the U.S. tech sector to grow under Trump by 4.3 percent up to $1.49 trillion in 2017, compared to $1.44 trillion spent on goods, services and staff in 2016. Forrester’s pre-election forecast anticipated a 5.1 percent jump under an incoming Clinton administration, up to $1.51 trillion.

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“Our pre-election forecast for the U.S. tech market assumed the election of Hillary Clinton as president and the continuation of the Obama administration's policies,” said Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Andrew Bartels, the author of the report. “The election of Donald Trump as president introduces significant but still undefined shifts in the U.S. economy's direction.”

Trump’s views on technology and innovation are less spelled out than Clinton’s, who aligned herself with Obama, a strong proponent of Silicon Valley outreach and investing in technological talent. One area that may get a boost under Trump is cybersecurity. Trump’s appointments, as well as a video message calling for a Defense Department-led review of cyber protections across U.S. infrastructure and his proposed cyber plan, suggest the federal government will spend big in that area.

The tech sector employs some 5.7 million Americans, and earlier this month, the leaders of 17 tech trade groups penned a letter encouraging Trump to promote policies that will drive economic growth and improve the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Download Nextgov's 2017 Federal IT Trends Forecast ebook here.