Board Converting News, November 9, 2020

Return To Normalcy (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

org ). “Maybe they’re being overly confident, but our mem- bers seem to feel that in six months’ time things will have turned around significantly.” With its diverse membership in food processing, de- fense, fabrication, and machinery building, the Pennsylva- nia trade group can be viewed as a proxy for American industry. The organization’s members are reporting results that seem to position the tail end of 2020 as something of a springboard for future months. “Conditions for our mem- bers have improved, with increasing revenues, since the April and May timeframe,” reports Palisin. Springboard or not, it’s a sure bet that few business- es will regret seeing 2020 in their rear-view mirrors. “It’s been a rough year for many manufacturers,” says Palisin. “We’re looking at pretty significant revenue declines of 30 percent to 40 percent through much of the year for many of our members, who have had to do furloughs to maintain operations while dealing with supply chain problems.” Palisin acknowledges that for many operations the road ahead will be rocky. That’s especially true for those with limited resources. “Smaller companies aren’t as well equipped as far as financing and cash flows to weather an economic downturn,” says Palisin. “Things have been significantly tougher for them.” Housing Surges An important driver for the economy at large, residen- tial construction is doing extremely well and promises

the first half of 2021 households will continue to self-quar- antine as a wave of bankruptcies boosts the number of permanent job losses. By summer, says Koropeckyj, things should look different. “The economy will regain its stride in the second half of the year, when a vaccine or treatment is assumed to be widely available.”

Business owners seem to share Moody’s optimistic mindset. “Even though there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there, many companies have a positive outlook,” says Tom Palisin, Executive Director of The Manufacturers’ Asso- ciation, a York, Pennsylvania based regional employers’ group with more than 370 member companies ( mascpa.



November 9, 2020

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