According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, the key risk to all vehicle market forecasts, and the US economy broadly, remains the trade war with China. With US manufacturers and farmers struggling to compete on the tilted global playing field, the key driver of growth into the mid-term outlook is the US consumer, who remains well positioned to keep the economy out of the ditch.
The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the commercial vehicle industry, looking at the next 1-5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and the investment community the information they need for planning in a deeply cyclical industry. The report provides a complete overview of North American CV markets, taking a deep dive into relevant economic, freight and regulatory demand drivers, pivoting on current market activity (from orders and backlogs to production and sales), before arriving at unit forecasts for different CV vehicle classes. Information included in this report covers medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, information on carrier profitability trends, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.
“While the subcomponents wiggled a bit, economic expectations remained unchanged this month, with growth expected to moderate in 2019 and again in 2020,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He elaborated, “After growing 2.9% in 2018, the forecast calls for US GDP growth to slow to 2.3% in 2019 and soften to below 2% growth in 2020.”
Vieth added, “If the President doubles-down on the China trade war, which seems to be happening, a greater global downturn could ensue, with the worst outcomes spreading beyond the impact of tariffs and into a global currency war. Additional negative moves from this point would substantively increase the likelihood of a US recession in late 2020 or early 2021. That said, consumer fundamentals, job and wage growth and savings rates are all at healthy levels, supporting consumer confidence and spending for the time being.”
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 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11-13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event.