A few days ago I posted a chart showing the number of patents granted per year. That chart had a major error. I had inadvertently included data from all issued patents (utility + design + plant + reissue) for the pre-2020 bars, but the 2020 forecast only included utility patents. This made the current year forecast appear small in comparison. Sorry for temporarily leading folks astray.
Please find a corrected chart below (with 1-additional week of data). The chart still shows a forecast of 2020 ending behind 2019 in terms of sheer numbers, but only slightly. After my post, folks at the PTO also told me that examiners have been working full steam through the COVID pandemic.