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Is consulting generally a leading or lagging indicator of global economic health?

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http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/071515/6-factors-point-global-recession-2016.asp

Aside from the "stories" unfolding in the global economy above, some finer economic data is beginning to show some eerily similar patterns that have predicted recessions in the past:

Retail Sales have dropped the most since before the last recession. The same is true with wholesale sales.
U.S. factory orders fell in December of 2015 by the most in a year, according to the Commerce Department.
Real U.S. GDP growth is slowing.
U.S. export growth has been weakening.
Corporate profits are declining.


Read more: 6 Factors That Point to Global Recession in 2016 | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/071515/6-factors-point-global-recession-2016.asp#ixzz4AdJJ2f4j
Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

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Ey2 I think America is going to have a similar problem as China. You feel like something is just about to blow up there - super export based economy with low consumption & high saving is not sustainable. Already seeing it slow. Still not clear why consumption/saving is the way it is (people have speculated a combination of their marriage culture/high housing, it might have something to do with their state owned enterprises, whatever it's a mystery). But without more consumption on their part they will have a hard time keeping growth high. We're on the other side of the spectrum (low saving, consumer based economy) but equally as unsustainable

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I guess '08-'09 was a special circumstance given the economic decline came from a black swan-type shock, rather than true cyclical factors.

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Silicon Valley is starting to feel it too

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A1 - Life changing book... Completely changed the way I think about the world. I hear Antifragile is even better.

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Leading man. We're facing tough market because clients need to cut back even if they need the help. Only question is how long is it gonna be?

08-09 was very visible for those in FS

EY2 - Before the crash? I thought the job cuts all came after it. One of those "everything is fine until it isn't" situations.

I would say leading, clients first stop hiring consultants and if things continue going south then it's internal employees

Not necessarily. A lot of the consulting boom was due to the growth in M&A. Now that's over. Also O&G consulting is pretty much lagging. Consultants are cheaper than internal employees.

I had the same exact question. Luxury retail is a leading indicator and it is down per friends who work in the space. It's a little concerning.

Black swan reference OP 👌🏼 you read the book?

@d3 - consultants are easier to get rid of but they aren't cheaper. Otherwise we would all be in industry.

OP completely agree. I haven't read antifragile but it's on my list.

Pwc2- if we weren't cheaper, they wouldn't hire us. D3 is talking about the complete economic picture. Sure, our LCR is higher than an employee salary, but in many cases the cost of finding, hiring and employing a qualified resource is far more expensive than staffing consultants

Sorry, not LCR...bill rate

The complete economic picture is consultants only make sense when the work is temporary. Even with acquisition costs, keeping consultants on long term is ridiculously high compared to employees.

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