Each company in the Global 5000 is categorized according to the industry group to which it belongs. In this scheme, we separate technology companies (computers, software, semiconductors) from telecommunications providers.  As we look at the companies in these two segments, we get an inkling of the struggles the global economy is having coming out of the recession.

We looked at 65 Telecom companies from Nippon and Verizon sized on down and then 168 Technology companies including HP, IBM and Dell. The Total aggregate revenue for these Telecom companies grew 16.6% in 2007, 5.8% in 2008 and 0.7% last year.  Technology companies were on a similar track but with smaller increases and a more severe drop last year.  2007 revenue grew 14.6%, 4.5% in 2008 and then down last year by 8.2%.

Both of these groups are about the same size. Telecom shows more stability as people don’t give up their telecom services too easily whereas technology has more of a discretionary feel.  As we look to signs of life and growth in the economy, expect to see Telecom as steady state but look to growth in the technology companies as a better indicator of the future.