Economic indicators: John Chambers vs. 200 Economics Bloggers

Wednesday after the market closed, Cisco announced earnings that “trounced” analyst estimates. CEO John Chambers said, “We saw very strong, balanced growth from a year-over-year perspective in almost all of the major geographies and market segment categories,” he said. According to Reuters, “He sounded a bullish note for the rest of the technology industry, predicting a good chance of ‘solid, sustainable economic growth.’” He said too that the company expects to add 2,000 to 3,000 over the next few quarters.

I will remind you that Cisco serves as a economic bellwether as it sells technology and equipment to all sizes of businesses, from the world’s largest companies and governments to small businesses. (If you’re in doubt of the small business segment, here’s a reminder: It now owns Linksys and Webex.)

But wait. Why is Mr. Chambers so bullish? Hasn’t he read what the “Top 200 Economic Bloggers” think. According to a quarterly survey released yesterday by the Kauffman Foundation, 48 percent of economics bloggers said in the mid-January survey that the economy was “worse than official government statistics show.” Most respondents rate the overall condition of the economy as “mixed,” and 33 percent say it is still “facing recession” or “weak and recessing.”

So if the bellwether company Cisco is expecting “solid, sustainable economic growth,” where are the economist bloggers gaining their insight? From reading each other, I’d assume.

I’m sure a survey of the economics bloggers would suggest John Chambers is blinded by the reality of selling equipment to real customers and that he should go hang out in academia where he can get in touch with what’s going on with the theoretical economy.