Start Here: The Economy is Worse Than Almost Anyone Believes

China phone sales 2019-2020

2008-2009, the worst economic crisis in almost a century, saw a fall of US GDP of ~4%. This time will almost certain be worse, with many predicting a drop of ~10%. That’s uncertain, but a severe drop has already occured and 2021 also looks weak.

Any analysis, including my work on 5G and telecom, has to begin with that assumption. Car sales are down 25% or more; hotels and airlines will continue half empty or worse; the major banks are looking at over $100 billion in immediate bad debt. No magic will repair the economy, even if health improves.

Despite the news, most of us believe things will start to “return to normal.” An “optimism bias” is part of human nature, particularly strong when surrounded by negative news. The 20% increase in stock prices appears a symptom of over-confidence.*

Some inferences for telecom

To my surprise, it appears 5G in 2020 will be only modestly affected.

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