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Cloud Growth Slowdown Looms, Suggesting Tech Boom Near Peak

  • Data-center business has fueled Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft
  • Hardware makers also have surged on cloud-computing expansion
High End Data Cables Feed Into Servers

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The staggering growth of cloud computing can’t go on forever. And reports from tech companies that make data-center hardware and sell the services suggest the industry’s expansion is cooling.

Western Digital Corp., a maker of memory chips, neatly listed everything that is suddenly wrong with the technology industry when it gave a disappointing forecast late Thursday. A boom in spending by cloud-service providers such as Inc. is showing signs of slowing and there is too much supply of memory chips in an industry that had promised not to repeat a pattern of past loss-causing gluts. Trade with China, monetary policy and foreign exchange fluctuations are causing concern the U.S. economy will slow and hurting orders for computer-storage products, Western Digital Chief Executive Officer Steve Milligan said.