Google reports slowest growth in two years

·2-min read

Google's revenue growth during the past quarter decelerated to its slowest pace in two years as advertisers reined in their spending amid intensifying fears of an economic recession.

The regression reported on Tuesday by Google's corporate parent Alphabet is the latest sign that the tailwinds propelling big technology companies during the pandemic have shifted.

The array of new challenges facing the industry have already caused the tech-driven Nasdaq composite index to plummet by 26 per cent so far this year.

In Alphabet's case, revenue during the April-June period totalled $US69.7 billion ($A100.4 billion), a 13 per cent increase from the same time last year.

That would be impressive growth for most companies outside of tech.

But it marked Alphabet's lowest growth rate since the the April-June quarter of 2020, when the company suffered the first, and so far only, year-over-year revenue decline in its history.

The cause: advertisers retreated while most consumers were being corralled at home during the pandemic's early stages.

Despite the slowdown, Alphabet remains extremely profitable.

The Mountain View, California, company earned $US16 billion, or $US1.21 per share, during the second quarter - although even that was a 14 per cent decrease from last year.

As usual, most of that money poured in from Google's dominant search engine and a wide range of other popular services including its maps, Gmail, Chrome browser, YouTube video site and Android software for smartphones.

Even though both the revenue and earnings came in slightly below analyst estimates, the numbers apparently were not as bad as investors feared.

Alphabet's slumping stock price gained 3 per cent in extended trading after the numbers were released.

The results suggest that digital advertisers are remaining cautious as the Federal Reserve contemplates more aggressive action - meaning higher interest rates - to bring down the highest inflation in more than 40 years, a mission that threatens to drag the economy into a recession.

The next rate increase is expected on Wednesday.

The tightening in ad budgets has repercussions beyond Google.

It squeezed the social platform Snap so severely that its earnings plunged below management warnings of poor business results, creating such a cloudy outlook that its executives refused to make predictions for the current quarter.

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