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Outlook for global manufacturing industry post-COVID is mixed

20 August 2020

Interact Analysis has released new research giving an up-to-date outlook on the output of the entire global manufacturing industry, including significant data from the COVID period.

The research covers 35 industries and machinery sectors and shows a detailed picture at the sector level, with the commercial vehicle sector and the electric & electronic equipment sector both predicted to recover much faster than previously thought, while other sectors will be very hard hit for the long term. From a regional perspective, most countries will surpass 2019 levels of production by 2024. A total 38 regions are covered, with detailed data for all industry sectors in Australia available for the first time. The US and China are predicted to recover more quickly than other regions and while Brazil, India and the UK are set to be amongst the slowest to recover. 

At the industry level, the reason for the strong predicted recovery for commercial vehicles is that it is less dependent on consumer spending than other sectors. For this reason, the commercial vehicles sector is predicted to recover significantly more quickly than automotive. Meanwhile, when it comes to electrical & electronic equipment, while clear areas of this sector are down (such as electronic parts sold to automotive), the demand for consumer electronics that entertain is well up – providing a ray of light. On the negative side, while industries such as aerospace are doing predictably badly, other perhaps less obvious sectors, such as textile machinery manufacturing will also be badly hit. 

At the country level, the reason for the slow recoveries for both Brazil and India is primarily due to the highly alarming degree of infection growth in both countries and relative absence of a financial stimulus. Meanwhile, the US is expected to recover well despite its high level of infections due to the unprecedentedly large financial stimulus being applied in the country. In China, a particularly fast return to normality – with the country’s 2020 manufacturing output coming the closest of all to recovering to 2019 levels – is underway because extremely strong measures have been taken to combat the virus. These measures include such things as apps that track the movement of every individual. Such measures are unlikely to be politically acceptable in many other countries, so this extremely fast recovery is unlikely to be replicated elsewhere.

Adrian Lloyd, CEO of Interact Analysis, says: “This is the second update to have been made to Interact Analysis’s Manufacturing Industry Output Tracker since the onset of Coronavirus. As such, we have an increasingly wide and deep set of data and research results that is helping us to paint an ever more detailed picture of the long-term outcome of this unprecedented crisis. In order to do our part in aiding the ongoing recovery, we are offering this quarterly update to the MIO free of charge and it can be downloaded here. To discuss any aspect of the impact of Coronavirus on the global manufacturing industry, please get in touch.”

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