The clearest indication of how that uncertainty weighs on companies came not from the IT sector, but from McDonald's Corp. CEO, Don Thompson. "When the economic crisis began in 2008, few people thought the environment would still be as uncertain and fragile as it is today," said Thompson, according to a transcript of his remarks on Seeking Alpha. "It is clear however that this operating environment is the new normal," he said.
If people aren't buying $1 fries, will their appetite for electronics suffer as well?
IBM cited an overall slowdownin consumer spending in its most recent earnings report. In the third quarter, IBM generated $24.7 billion in revenue, down 5% from the same quarter in 2011.
Meanwhile, Intel reported a $2.97 billion profit in its latest quarter, compared to $3.47 billion in the same quarter last year. Intel CEO Paul Otellini blamed the economy.
AMD also noted economic concerns last week when it said it was laying off1,800 of its 11,813 employees. "The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting both the ecosystem and AMD," CEO Rory Read said in a statement.
Still, Gartner says consumer demand for tech devices continues to rise. In 1980, consumers spent less than 1% of their discretionary budget on technology; it's about 3.5%.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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