Cisco Systems' Chief Executive John Chambers said the United States economy may start to grow again in the second half of 2009 but his opinion should not be read as a comment on the network equipment manufacturer's current quarter.
"I think it will be by the second half of this year," said Chambers towards the end of his keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas after asking the audience when it saw gross domestic product resuming growth.
However, after seeing a less than decisive show of hands among the audience in response to his question about whether GDP growth would resume this year or next year Chambers said "That's pretty typical of what my customers are saying."
He said he wanted to make the point that nobody really knows even though everybody, including himself, has opinions about how long it would take the recession to end. Cisco is the world's largest manufacturer of network equipment.
But the executive had declined to comment on the economy at two earlier events at the annual gadget showcase except to say that Cisco would use the downturn to its advantage as it looks to break into new markets such as consumer electronics.