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Source: Money, StackExchange
Published: June 2012

Tailwind or Headwind?

Circulated: November 19, 2019

Originally a nautical term, the terms are today financial jargon. If the wind is at your back, a tailwind, that will help you move forward more quickly. If you are moving into a headwind, that will only make progress more difficult.

Tailwinds: a situation that makes growth less difficult.
Example: Falling fuel prices will reduce Amazon Air costs and increase profitability.

Headwinds: a situation that makes growth more difficult.
Example: An increase in the price of fish will cause Amazon Meal Kit’s salmon entree to be less profitable.

“The Japan consumption tax was raised from 8% to 10% on October 1st. We expect our [international growth rate] to be a negative headwind of 300 basis points year-over-year in Q4 2019.”

- Brian Olsavsky, SVP & CFO @ Amazon during the
Amazon’s Q3 2019 Earnings Call in October 2019.

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