* "In the wake of Y2K we'll just sort of come out of all this in a generally depressed state," says Ira Matathia, CEO of Brand Futures Group.
"When we hit January we'll go 'Hmmm, this doesn't feel any different than two weeks ago.' This will create a sort of post-millennial depression and people will just be sluggish in the first and second quarter. Many commodities will probably have been oversold -- sanitary napkins, cases of water, dog food. . .There will be a conscious effort by people to put off that [computer] purchase until we get over the Y2K hump."
* "If there's a downturn in the economy I think you'll see Compaq, Dell and Gateway continue to do well. It will only hurt those companies, like IBM and Packard Bell, which can't function in a regular economy," says Tom Rhinelander, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "It's not like going to cheaper paper towels."
* "The consumer generation most likely to be alienated by a downturn in the economy are teen-agers," says Yankelovich Partners CEO J. Walker Smith. "Teens today might be affected because they never grew up in anything but a booming economy. . . Everything true a decade ago is not true now. The Echo-Boom generation, or Generation Y, they will probably be the ones to suffer some."
* "It sounds romantic that in a bad economy people will trade down, but that's not the case with beers," says Robert Weinberg of the Beer Industry Research Program. "There will be a tendency for people to reward themselves by drinking