Spending on information technology has declined this year for the first time since 2004, as businesses trim budgets to weather the down economy, a survey finds.

According to Techtel, an Emeryville, Calif.-based market research firm, less than four percent of some 550 IT buyers surveyed said they expect spending to increase this year, down from 15 percent in the same period last year.

"Tech's hesitation about future demand is well-founded. U.S. IT spending is slowing and expected to continue doing so," Techtel CEO Michael Kelly said in a statement. He said IT spending would likely keep declining.

Most respondents cited the downturn in the economy as the main reason for decreased spending.

This year marks the first time IT spending has dropped below expectations since Techtel launched its quarterly surveys four years ago.