According to ACT Research’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the key risk to all commercial vehicle market forecasts remains the on-again trade war with China, but well-positioned consumers are keeping the U.S. economy out of the ditch.
“Aside from trade, the economic picture remains largely unchanged, with growth moderating in 2019 from last year’s vigorous pace,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “The key risk to all vehicle market forecasts remains the on-again, on-again trade war with China. If the president doubles-down from here, a greater global downturn could ensue, with the worst outcomes spreading beyond the impact of tariffs and into a global race to the bottom in terms of currency manipulation.
“Another move from this point would substantively increase the likelihood of a recession sometime in 2020. ACT’s recession probability in the next four to six quarters has risen to 40%, up from 25% earlier this year,” Vieth added. “With U.S. manufacturers and farmers struggling to compete on the tilted global playing field, the key driver of the near to mid-term outlook is the U.S. consumer, who remains well positioned to keep the economy out of the ditch, even as key freight generating sectors of the economy take a pause. Jobs and wage growth and savings are all at healthy levels, supporting consumer confidence.”