I have performed this annual ritual for more than three decades, and I have great confidence that my powers of perception and my analytical skills are as good or better than they have ever been. Over the years, I have been surprised, stumped, amazed and outright wrong. But the events of the past few months have completely eliminated the need for decimal points in my outlook for the coming year.
Bill Wood: "My baseline forecast assumes that Congress will pass another relief package soon, and this will generate a growth rate for the manufacturing sector in 2021 that is stronger than its long-term average rate of growth. But for most segments, the growth I am forecasting for next year will not quite make up for the volume that was lost this year."
There is a huge amount of pent-up demand in this country for many types of services, and this will be unleashed as soon as the supply chain for the distribution of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 is ramped up. But this will not happen overnight.
"Interest rates this low are indicative of an economy that is not vibrant and robust. OK, that is not a surprise given the fact we are trying to recover from the damage inflicted by the pandemic. Maybe this is what we need," writes Plastics News Economics Editor Bill Wood.