Google’s Schmidt Says The Economy Is Bouncing Back In The U.S. — And In Europe

With Google (NSDQ: GOOG) set to report its quarterly earnings next Thursday, its top executives seem almost giddy about the the state of the economic recovery. During a chat with reporters in New York City, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he had seen a bounce back in both the U.S. and Europe. “I thought it was going to be US first, Europe second, Asia we never saw a hit,” he said, according to transcripts of the conversation on both TechCrunch and AllThingsD. “We are increasing our hiring rate and investment rate in anticipation of a recovery.” Later on, Schmidt said that “from our perspective, the low point was somewhere in the spring.” Schmidt had already said late last month that because the “worst is behind us” the company was ready to start buying companies again. He provided a little more color today — saying that acquisitions will likely be small — involving startups with “5,10 people.”

By contrast, during the company’s last earnings call in July, Schmidt said that while business had “largely stabilized” it was “too early for us to tell” about a recovery.

Analysts, however, don’t seem to be incorporating much of a bounce back in their forecasts for the company’s results. On average, they are expecting Google to post revenue of $4.21 billion this quarter and earnings per share of $5.36. That implies year-over-year net sales growth of 4.1 percent, which is actually less than the 4.5 percent year-over-year sales growth the company saw last quarter.