The favorite letter of the alphabet for industry right now may be V. As the North American economy makes its first slow, planned steps toward reopening nonessential manufacturing, the hope is that we'll see an economic rebound that climbs as quickly as it fell.
A U is also seen as good letter, one showing a rapid recovery after a short period of adjustment. A W? No one wants that, an indication that a second drop will hit just as businesses begin to recover.
Plastics News Economist Bill Wood suggests we stop trying to force outlooks into any letter of the alphabet.
"To be honest, these shapes are really just guesses rather than forecasts," he writes in his most recent "Numbers That Matter" column. "There is no clear consensus among economists and analysts and policymakers about which of these shapes is the most probable. I doubt if they are all equally probable, but at this time I cannot rule any of them out."