Leaked internal documents show Amazon will likely continue to slow growth next year amidst cost-cutting and anticipation of a severe economic downturn

Leaked internal documents show Amazon will likely continue to slow growth next year amidst cost-cutting and anticipation of a severe economic downturn
Amazon's executives are preparing for an uncertain economy by cutting costs and increasing profit margins.Eduardo Munoz Avarez/AP
  • Amazon's economists expect the company's growth to slow as cost cuts continue.
  • They said Amazon's growth and profitability have historically been "negatively correlated."

Amazon is cutting costs across the board in anticipation of a severe economic downturn.

That likely means Amazon's revenue growth will also slow down, according to an internal macroeconomic report obtained by Insider.

The report, put together by Amazon's economic, finance, and science teams, is part of the company's internal research into the broader macroeconomic landscape. The 12-page study touched on topics of a recession possibility, inflation forecast, and their impact on Amazon's overall business, as Insider previously reported.

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The November report indicated the company is now cutting costs to focus on profitability and sales will grow at a slower pace than before.

"Acceleration in business growth is associated with profit margin deceleration, and vice versa. There is a clear tradeoff between the interplay of profit seeking and growth, rendering it difficult to achieve both objectives simultaneously," the report said.


"As our pendulum swerves to cut costs in pursuit of higher profit margins, this may undermine our ability to grow at a faster pace in the near — or mid-term," it added.

The report also showed Amazon's economists put the odds of the US economy going into a recession in the next six months at 30%, far lower than other estimates that all but guaranteed a recession next year.

In an email to Insider, Amazon's spokesperson said the company's leadership team disagreed with its own economists.

"The document in question does not reflect the company's position on the economy and where it's headed. Our CFO Brian Olsavsky shared our thinking on our most recent earnings call, and our CEO shared his thoughts in a Dec. 6 interview at the Dealbook event. This document simply reflects the thoughts of some of our economists," the spokesperson said.

During Amazon's most recent earnings call in October, CFO Brian Olsavsky painted a more dire picture and said the company is tightening its belt and pausing hiring due to the "uncertain economy."


"The continuing impacts of broad-scale inflation, heightened fuel prices and rising energy costs have impacted our sales growth as consumers assess their purchasing power and organizations of all sizes evaluate their technology and advertising spend," Olsavsky added during the call.

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Contact reporter Eugene Kim via the encrypted messaging apps Signal or Telegram (+1-650-942-3061) or email (ekim@insider.com).