Economics Weekly: Corporate Profits Review and Preview

Friday, December 11, 2020

This soon-to-be-past year is likely to be the third-worst year for S&P 500 operating profits since 1989. Current IBES consensus estimates are for profits to decline by 15.3% this year, while S&P analysts expect a substantially greater decline of 23.1%. The previous two worst years for corporate profitability were 2008 (-40%) and 2001 (-30.8%).

In this Economics Weekly, we review the earnings situation in 2020 and look at what might be driving a much improved profitability outlook for 2021.

For a copy of this report or to subscribe to the Economics Weekly or Economic Indicators reports, please contact your William Blair representative.

Richard de Chazal, CFA is a London-based macroeconomist covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.

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