Chinese market subdued but cautiously optimistic

China’s heavy commercial vehicle market remained soft in the first quarter of 2015.

According to report published by ACT Research and China’s State Information Centre (SIC), total sales for powered equipment – which can in turn give an indication of articulated trailer demand – were just over 135,000 in Q1, a decline of 16 per cent compared to Q4 2014 and more than 33 per cent year-over-year.

“The pace of growth of China’s economy slowed to seven per cent on a year-over-year basis in Q1 2015, following an unchanged 7.3 per cent y/y in Q4 2014,” the report said.

For perspective, full-year real GDP growth in 2014 was 7.4 per cent, while 2013’s economic growth was 7.7 per cent.

“Heavy and medium truck and tractor markets will remain subdued before shifting to a slow growth path later in the year 2015,” said Robert Perkins, Senior Global Business Consultant at ACT.

Concerning the macro-economy, Perkins added, “Consumption and exports will have a positive impact, but will not likely compensate for the impact resulting from the downturn in real estate and manufacturing investment.

“However, newly approved infrastructure projects will support truck demand in the second half of 2015; national government funding commitment for these projects will be key due to high local government debt and regulatory revisions requiring a positive payback for projects.”

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