Four Steps to Forecast Total Market Demand

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by William Barnett  from the July 1988 Issue

Recent history is filled with stories of companies and sometimes even entire industries that have made grave strategic errors because of inaccurate industrywide demand forecasts. For example:

  • In 1974, U.S. electric utilities made plans to double generating capacity by the mid- 1980s based on forecasts of a 7% annual growth in demand. Such forecasts are crucial since companies must begin building new generating plants five to ten years before they are to come on line. But during the 1975

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