Asia accounted for less than 20 per cent of the global computer equipment market last year, according to a report by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). It ranked the North American market - which includes Mexico - as number one, with 45 per cent of global share. Europe was second, with 35.5 per cent, followed by Asia with 16.9 per cent. Worldwide computer equipment shipments had grown 6 per cent from 1995, to US$493.5 billion in 1996. The council's findings, reported in the IT Daily , also showed the US as the leader in information technology industry revenues, accounting for $747 billion of the $1 trillion taken in worldwide. The figures represent sales of computers and related equipment, software and services, business equipment, and communications equipment and services. The US also had a dominating 44 per cent share of the information technology equipment market, making up $345 billion of the global share of $773 billion, said the report. 'This growth reflects a highly competitive, dynamic and influential sector of the US economy,' ITI president Rhett Dawson said. The group projected that the IT market would grow at an average annual rate of 7 per cent, reaching $1.57 trillion by 2007. It predicted the US markets would experience saturation in the next millennium. Its share of the world market is expected to reach $735 billion in 2007 - more than double present revenues - but would dip to about 42 per cent of the total world market of about $1.71 trillion.