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Industry Outlook

The coronavirus pandemic, which started in late 2019, has had a major impact on most businesses, including utilities companies, throughout the world. The economic slowdown caused many companies to cut their budgets and reduce staff. The research group IBISWorld projected a revenue decline in the U.S. utilities sector of nearly 5 percent in 2020 alone. This drop was anticipated because of a decrease in the price of electric power and the volatile price of natural gas in 2020. The accelerated distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 will boost the economy and speed up recovery for the utilities industry, with revenue expected to grow by 9.6 percent in 2021, and steady growth is expected through 2026. Moving forward, industry performance will be determined by "trends in electric power demand, the price of electric power, pricing trends of the various resources used to generate electricity, and changes in the price of natural gas." Deloitte predicts that the utilities and power industry will be focused on these five trends as the pandemic comes to an end: consolidation of the regulatory landscape, creating new economies, reinventing battery business models, scaling up with new entrants and frontiers, and fortifying the industry for disaster readiness. As of early 2021, there were 32,782 businesses and 671,682 employees in the U.S. utilities industry.

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