The Quarterly: The Fragile Recovery is About to be Tested

By Tanner Ehmke , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski , Christina Pope and Teri Viswanath

October 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now impacted all four quarters of 2020, and seemingly every aspect of life and business. The U.S. economy has been improving since late spring, but progress has slowed measurably, and with broad fiscal relief now off the table at least in the near-term, the economy will likely end the year in a fizzle.

Rural America is experiencing a dichotomy of improving industry fundamentals and a surge of COVID cases. Rural communities are now the source of a disproportionate number of new cases, just as we are all beginning to spend much more time indoors. A historic number of hurricanes, devastating fires – nothing about 2020 has been easy. But as always, essential rural industries are finding new ways to survive and in some cases, thrive.

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