January '21

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rv-pro.com January 2021 • RV PRO • 69 the Baby Boomers and a decline in immi- gration are also putting higher pressure on wages." Companies aren't likely to take a wait-and-see approach while the best people go elsewhere, he says, adding, "Even during this period, talent is one of the top – if not the top – factors to keep a company growing." New Year, New Prospects In the opening months of 2021, experts say some key indicators should offer clues to how the year will turn out. Palisin feels the level of durable goods orders may signal the economy's trajectory, as will the level of capital expenditures. " Bu s i n e s s e s w i l l b e l o o k i n g f o r increased certainty on matters such as market stabilization, the ability to hire, access to a qualified labor pools, and work- place safety protocols," he says. "It would be good to have some kind of resolution around trade issues as well. All of those concerns will be front-burner ones." As for the view at Moody's Analytics, Koropeckyj looks to consumer senti- ment levels in early 2021 for insight into how freely shoppers will spend the rest of the year. "We will also look closely at the number of business bankruptcies," she says. "And the core unemployment rate, which excludes temporary layoffs, will gauge how much joblessness is attributable to permanent layoffs, which leave behind long-lasting scars on the labor market." However, perhaps the best economic indicator of all will be the rate of prog- ress toward a cure for the not-so-hidden elephant in the room: The pandemic. "Businesses will be concerned about the timeline of a vaccine," says Koropeckyj. "The path toward some semblance of eco- nomic normality hinges upon its develop- ment and widespread distribution."

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