April 29, 2021
The numbers were huge. And with Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft making up more than 21% of the value of the S&P 500, we close today with a new record high in the index.
It's well known that big tech was the big winner of the "stay-at-home" economy. Not only did they enjoy advantage over their competition, but that advantage was met with consumer spending that was bolstered by federally subsidized unemployment checks and direct government checks to households.
Let's take a look at what that looked like …
Revenue growth compared a year ago was 52% at Facebook, 34% at Google, 55% at Apple, 44% at Amazon and 20% at Microsoft.
If we take the average y-o-y growth rate of the five, these are the biggest companies in the world, growing at 17 times the pre-Pandemic growth rate of the U.S. economy (Q4 2019 GDP grew at 2.4% annualized rate).
With that above in mind, this consumption effect that has driven big tech, reflected in a big Q1 GDP number reported this morning. The first reading on Q1 growth was +6.4%.
Consumption is 70% of GDP. And that component was big. Aside from the sharp bounceback last year, it was the biggest since 1965.
This fits nicely into the inflation theme we’ve been discussing: strong appetite to consume, meeting supply shortages.