We would like to start this report with a quick look at some economic data, since so many respondents—virtually all—said that the current economic climate, with its uncertainty, was a big factor in their plans going forward.
This information is easily obtainable, but most people don’t have the time to track it down and correlate it. So we are providing you with some relevant and up-to-date data that we think gives some context as to why companies and the people within them are doing some of the things they are doing.
As a country, the US is by far the richest country in the world. It takes the entire trading block of the EU to surpass the US’s GDP. The global economic diversity among nations—the ‘rich vs. middle class vs. poor’—is quite stark.
However, investment in different sectors: business services, infrastructure/construction, and technology, creates a very different picture of global markets and how and why countries spend. For example, the biggest infrastructure investment dollars are still going to the BIRCs; software, technology, and consulting projects are going to the broader G20 nations. These realities, of course, have a strong impact on where companies decide to sell direct, sell using channel partners, or maybe not sell at all.
The good news for the US is that in spite of volatility, the new year-end government statistics report (published January 31st) showed a GDP growth of 2.9 percent in 2011, with some modest improvements in some of the most damaged sectors in the economy.