Covid grabbed all the headlines in 2020, but other longer-term stories began to emerge.
For most, 2020 can be summed in one term, and that term is Covid-19, of course. The pandemic disrupted supply lines, shut down factories around the world, and pushed many companies to the brink of financial collapse, to say nothing of the extraordinary and tragic loss of life.
Covid affected everything, but the rebound was sharp and quick. Manufacturers reconfigured assembly lines to tool up for medical devices like ventilators and face masks. The financial hit from the viral tsunami that erupted from China, which undertook a nationwide shutdown in February 2020, and rippled throughout Europe and North America in the following months, led to ugly June quarters for most. Certain industries, such as commercial aerospace, have yet to recover. Yet by the fourth quarter most markets had returned to life, and balance sheets were for many firms not only looking better sequentially, but even year-over-year.
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