The passing of time is subjective. Last week, one of our two lead consultants, Sean Patton, was commenting from his desk, “I can’t believe its October already.” My response: “I can’t believe we aren’t finished with this year yet.” To me, 2020 has been unforgettably long and drawn out as crisis-after-crisis piles up without resolution.
I’m comforted by the fact that time is objectively linear here on Earth. Moreover, we are getting close enough to the end of 2020 that full year projections are getting more numerous and accurate. For example, the National Association for Business Economists are revising their growth rates for the 4th quarter from 6.8% down to 4.9%. Moreover, the growth forecasts for 2021 have also come down to 3.6%. In totality, that means the projection contraction of the US economy in 2020 is -4.3%.
Negative 4.3% is not a great number, but it is far from a worst-case scenario given the potential immensity of the coronavirus impact. Moreover, even where the news is bad or estimates are pessimistic, at least we can face the issues realistically and resolve ourselves to improvement rather than frantic speculate about the worst-case scenario or blindly hope for best case to occur.