The recession is, by the standard measurement, over. The National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee said the downturn ended in June 2009. Most polls of individuals and company executives say otherwise. And on some parts of Main Street, the recession is still deepening.
24/7 Wall St. took a look at ten large companies whose success will prove that the recession has ended for most Americas – consumers and businesses alike. None of them are rapidly growing. Most are relatively mature. This makes them a good litmus tests for showing an improvement in economic growth because rapidly expanding companies such as Apple can give off false signals.
Many of the companies on this list are not market leaders. Their larger peers – those with their bigger R&D budgets, larger marketing budgets, or better balance sheets – may precede them in the recovery. A few of the firms have rather ordinary prospects.
So, these are the ten companies whose results and fortunes will signal the real end to the recession because they are neither at peak of their successes nor in a position to take market share and sales from rivals.
The world’s largest software company has languished for years as the growth of its core Windows operating system and business applications business have slowed. The launch of Windows 7 has helped boost the firm’s sales, but that has begun to wear off as the product has gained broad distribution. Microsoft has several businesses that will not do well until the economy recovers. These include its Xbox and Zune hardware products, its MSN online web portal, which relies on Internet advertising, and Microsoft’s server business, which will need a broad rebound to help improve sales.