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August 31, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Computers, telecommunications and other high-technology electronics industries have provided much of the unexpected strength demonstrated by the US economy this year – but these industries now loom so large in capital equipment spending that their growth would be threatened if a recession were to strike, as some economists are still forecasting. That is the view of the big Dataquest computer industry research outfit and subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet Corp. Its views were expounded at a doom-laden-sounding conference entitled Confronting the Spectre of Recession and its Impact on High Technology – and behind them lie a new forecast by the economic analysis department of Dun & Bradstreet, which calls for declining economic growth through 1989 and a recession in early 1990. In anticipation, Dataquest recommends that managers of high-tech companies should be readying contingency plans as the economy heads for possible trouble – companies must plan for recession just as they plan for growth, was the message. And while there are policy options that would avoid a down-turn, we have to recognise that the odds favouring a recession are growing. The first commandment for executives in this environment, the company suggested, was to stay informed, advising managers have to look at the industries they serve and try to focus on those that will do well in a downturn.

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