The Year That Was… Just Wasn’t Very Good
ECONOMIC WEAKNESS in most parts of the world, rising raw material costs, heated global competition…for most companies in The Top 50, 2011 was a year to forget. The
only problem is, that when the books were closed last year,
companies couldn’t exactly turn the page on their problems.
We’re halfway through 2012 and the global economy appears
more precarious than ever.
Multinationals are anxiously awaiting word out of Europe to
find out if the crises in Greece, Spain, Italy and elsewhere will
continue to worsen. Meanwhile, in China there’s evidence that
the economy is sinking from a double-digit growth rate to a high
single-digit rate to maybe something worse. Now, in most countries, 5% growth would be lauded, but when it happens in China
that’s cause for alarm.
The US, too, is in a tight spot, as consumer confidence re-
mains anemic. As we went to press, Moody’s Investor Services
had cut ratings on several major global banks including Bank of
America and CitiGroup, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was getting hammered. Couple sliding consumer sentiment with
the uncertainty that always surrounds a US Presidential election
and there’s more than enough reason to worry about the rest of
2012 and 2013.