The Home Pc Makes Waves Overseas

AMERICA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH the home computer is spreading. Last year, according to market researcher Link Resources Corp., some 7.5 million PCs were purchased for U.S. households, and this year the number should hit 9.5 million. But those figures pale beside the growth in the home-PC markets of nations in Europe and Asia.

This year, overseas PC sales to consumers are poised to overtake the U.S. for the first time. According to a study by Link, consumers in Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions will purchase $22 billion worth of PCs, outpacing their U.S. counterparts by 34%. While Europeans lead in spending, the growth potential is greatest in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific Rim countries, where home PC shipments are expected to grow by an astounding 90% a year. The trend is expected to continue so that in 2000, the Asia-Pacific Rim and European markets will account for $48 billion worth of home PC sales, compared with $27 billion for the U.S.