US industrial output could decline by 6.9pc to 101.9 basis points at the end of this year, compared with 109.5 basis points at the end of 2019, according to a forecast by Comerica Bank.
The economic projections, which were published by the bank on Monday, indicated that industrial production would rise by 4.8pc to 106.8 basis points in 2021, though it would still lag slightly behind 2019 figures.
Industrial capacity utilization is also expected to trend down to 72pc in 2020, before rising to 76.5pc next year. In 2019, capacity utilization averaged 77.8pc throughout the year. According to Robert A. Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank, the medium-term outlook for the US economy’s key indicators has improved on the news of COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the country over the next few months.
However, the current surge in COVID-19 infections and the related social restrictions imposed by various states could weaken auto sales further in December. Automotive sales declined slightly in November to 15.9 million vehicles and may fall further to 14.4 million units by the end of December.
With the Federal Reserve keeping benchmark interest rates low through at least the middle of 2021, the forecast expects auto sales and residential investments to rise in the first two quarters of next year.