In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that, starting in the second half of February, COVID-19 went from a China containment story to one of spiraling pandemic.
The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.
“There are times when the world that you thought you understood gets tipped on its head in just a matter of days, and these are those days,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “The global spread of the COVID-19 required a foundational reassessment of near-term economic expectations, and by extension North American commercial vehicle demand.”
Vieth continued, “Domestically, there has been some silly discussion regarding the severity of the outbreak, which we believe miss the critical economic point: Nearly two months after shutting down for the Spring Festival holiday, China is only now starting to return to work. And, while they weren’t working, the Chinese weren’t spending either.” He elaborated, “As the planet’s largest consumer of commodities, China’s downturn is hitting commodity prices across the board. On top of the demand-side weakness that continues to unfold, the front-and-center impact from a freight perspective at present is on the supply side: Domestic port and rail volumes have just begun to reflect the drop in Chinese output.” Asked about any “silver linings,” Vieth replied, “We anticipate considerable pent-up demand for inventory restocking and sales of parts and unfinished goods that are now in a drying-up phase.”
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020, and will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future.
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