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Business of Engineering

Global manufacturing outlook post-COVID mixed depending on sector, region

COVID-19's impact on manufacturing for the short- and long-term depends on the particular industry and the region, though recovery is eventually expected to reach 2019 levels according to Interact Analysis.

By Interact Analysis August 21, 2020
Courtesy: Interact Analysis

Interact Analysis’s research provides an up-to-date outlook on the output of the entire global manufacturing industry and the impact COVID-19 has had. 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. The US and China are predicted to recover more quickly than other regions. On the other hand, Brazil, India and the U.K. are projected to be amongst the slowest to recover.

At the industry level, the reason for the strong predicted recovery for commercial vehicles is it is less dependent on consumer spending than other sectors. For this reason, the commercial vehicles sector is predicted to recover faster than automotive.

Many manufacturing industries are expected to return to 2019 levels by 2024 as they recover from COVID-19's impact. Courtesy: Interact Analysis

Many manufacturing industries are expected to return to 2019 levels by 2024 as they recover from COVID-19’s impact. Courtesy: Interact Analysis

Meanwhile, when it comes to electrical and 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 up. On the negative side, while industries such as aerospace are doing badly, other 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. The U.S. is expected to recover well despite its high level of infections due to the financial stimulus 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.

– Edited from an Interact Analysis press release by CFE Media.


Interact Analysis