It’s the holiday season of 2020, which can mean a lot of things. We could stay focused on the negatives, worry about COVID-19, potential lockdowns, missing family, bicker about post-election drama and more.
Or, we could look on the bright side of things and see that things are starting to look up. In a recent webinar from the NFPA, Catherine Putney of ITR Trends said that while there are certainly some downsides, most of the leading indicators are on the rise — showing we’re all poised for a turnaround in industry and manufacturing. She said that we’re going to see a recovery trend pretty quickly (unless we see more mass lockdowns, as in Spring 2020).
Many fluid power companies are indicating that business activity is mildly up or flat — much better than down in the scheme of things. As Paul Heney points out in his From the Field column on page 8, the hose industry is seeing signs of a rebound. And even Eli Lustgarten, President of ESL Consultants, revised his farm equipment outlook from his forecast during the NFPA IEOC in August, saying he’s observed a “dramatic change” to the farm sector outlook over the last few months. This, said Lustgarten, means the farm equipment recession is over and he projects a high probability of at least a double-digit gain in demand in 2021 rather than his previously projected modest improvement.
I could keep going with more news from associations and economists highlighting the positive news that the industrial sector is seeing. But just know this — things are finally looking up. And now that we know vaccines are coming, too, I expect we’ll see a return to in-person conferences, sales calls and trade shows, maybe more so in the second quarter of 2021 and beyond.
We know it’s not perfect and we have a way to go before we’re back to normal in business and in our everyday personal lives. But I choose to stay merry and bright as we close 2020 — let’s continue to work hard to make this year one we’ll remember the rest of our lives for how so many of us were able to push on through. Let’s focus on the bright side.