How many times this year have you thought to yourself, What's going to happen next? I've found myself asking that question related to the coronavirus, deaths, shutdowns, cancellations, civil unrest, politics ... even sports. (The University of Michigan is really going to play football even when students have been ordered to quarantine in place because of rising COVID-19 cases?)
So I shouldn't be surprised to see that even some experts aren't united on predicting how business will fare in the coming months.
Just look at two stories from this week's print issue of Plastics News. On the one hand, you've got consultant Laurie Harbour and her company, Harbour Results Inc., saying they expect 30 percent of North American manufacturers to close in the next 18 months, with almost half of those being tool and die shops.
That's in part due to automakers slowing orders.
But on the other hand, as PN Economics Editor Bill Wood notes, the number of bankruptcies is currently lower than the historic trend. And the Small Business Optimism Index actually climbed 3.8 points in September. Bill is forecasting a 5 percent climb in U.S. GDP in 2021.
As for me? I have no idea what is going to happen next.