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Conor Sen

Amazon Is Showing Us What a Soft Landing Looks Like

The retail giant adjusted to the e-commerce slowdown without too much upheaval. It could be a model for the US economy as a whole.

Fewer workers.

Fewer workers.

Photographer: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The question of whether the US economy can achieve a soft landing is one that continues to preoccupy investors. For a look at how it might be possible, consider, which arguably has achieved just that.

Amazon’s e-commerce business unit essentially went through a recession during the first half of 2022 as consumers shifted from buying goods online to spending on activities such as traveling and dining out. But the retailer has managed to respond to the rapid change in consumer behavior by adjusting staffing levels at its warehouses and relying on other, less volatile parts of its business empire. While there is no guarantee that the broader US economy can pare back activity without triggering a more painful slump, Amazon’s rebalancing holds useful lessons.