According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the key risk to all vehicle market forecasts, and the U.S. economy broadly, remains the trade war with China, ACT says. With U.S. manufacturers and farmers struggling to compete on the tilted global playing field, the key driver of growth into the mid-term outlook is the U.S. consumer, who remains well-positioned to keep the economy out of the ditch, ACT added.
“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. “After growing 2.9% in 2018, the forecast calls for U.S. 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 U.S. 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.”