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Are In-Dash Fuel Economy Displays Accurate? – Forbes
Drivers should not rely too heavily on in-dash fuel economy systems that display the number of miles a vehicle gets per gallon and range value (how many “miles to empty”), as estimates can vary significantly over shorter trips or are dependent on the consistency of things that affect gas mileage, like speed and acceleration.
Those are the main results of a new report that assessed the accuracy of in-dash fuel economy displays, announced on Tuesday by the AAA. The findings, released at a time when gas prices are at a seven year high, the automotive group said, are important as drivers often rely on the display systems when making decisions about when to refuel.
The vehicle testing, based on a series of simulated driving scenarios, was conducted by the AAA in collaboration with the Automotive Research Center of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
“Collectively, the systems we tested were relatively accurate, but a closer examination of different driving scenarios revealed significant variability based on changes in speed, acceleration and distance,” Megan McKernan, manager of the Automotive Research Center.
On average, the fuel economy display of the vehicles tested showed a relatively low error of 2.3% compared to the fuel economy measured by in lab testing. However, individual vehicle error varied greatly, which suggests that each vehicle reacted to changes in driving differently, and that the accuracy can be impacted by driving style and conditions.
For example, when driving conditions change, like going from city driving to highway driving, “the estimation will likely lose accuracy until it adjusts to the new driving conditions,” the report noted. In addition, error varied significantly over short distances even when it was accurate over longer distances.
Testing of the “miles-to-empty” display found similar results with accuracy fluctuating across driving scenarios. The range estimation, at any given point, is affected by the vehicle’s most recent driving conditions.
“We ran our test vehicles through different driving situations ranging from cruising at highway speeds to being stuck in traffic to typical city driving,” McKernan said. “Despite the irregularities our testing found, a vehicle’s fuel economy display is an important tool to understand how different driving styles impact how efficiently a vehicle uses fuel.”
The report included a series of tips to maximize fuel economy, like minimizing use of air conditioning, avoiding hard acceleration and always inflating tires to the recommended pressure found inside the driver’s side door or owner’s manual, lightening the load of cargo; and in hot weather, parking in the shade or using a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car, which reduces the need for air conditioning (and thus fuel) to cool down the car.
To avoid running out of gas, AAA recommends that drivers fill up when it reaches a quarter of a tank. This will ensure drivers have enough fuel in case of unexpected delays but also helps to prevent fuel pump damage that can occur when a vehicle’s gas tank is regularly run down to empty.
Statistics Canada says economy appears to have grown in second quarter – CTV News
The Canadian economy appears to have bounced back after its worst two-month stretch since the start of the pandemic, eking out a gain in June and growth in the second quarter of the year.
Statistics Canada said its preliminary estimate is that real gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 2.5 per cent between April and June, buttressed by a 0.7 per cent rise in June as pandemic restrictions eased following declines of 0.5 per cent in April and 0.3 per cent in May.
The decline in May put total economic activity about two per cent below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020. The agency said that with growth in June, total economic activity was about one per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
Getting through the last one per cent may not take much longer, even though some sectors have longer to go than others, said Desjardins chief economist Jimmy Jean.
Restrictions are rolling back in much of the country as vaccination rates rise, and with early indications suggesting a boost in activity, the country should see a pretty strong rebound in the third quarter absent any hiccups, Jean said.
“I think we will also be talking about the Canadian economy having fully recuperated its pre-pandemic losses,” he said.
“That’s an important milestone, but I think we also have to remember that we’re still not quite there when it comes to the labour market. That’s where there’s still quite some ways to go.”
The uneven recovery in sectors prompted the federal government on Friday to announce it was extending aid to businesses and workers until Oct. 23, and freezing benefits at current rates.
Speaking in Hamilton, Ont., Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government wanted to ensure small businesses in particular have the support they need so the country can have a full and robust recovery.
The GDP figures Friday outpaced the Bank of Canada’s forecast earlier this month that the economy would grow at an annualized rate of two per cent in the second quarter. The central bank expects the economy to grow at an annualized rate of 7.3 per cent this quarter.
“Spring lockdowns in much of the country triggered the first monthly GDP declines in a year, but those setbacks are expected to be reversed in relatively short order, with June’s rebound alone almost doing the job,” said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter.
For May, Statistics Canada said retail declined by 2.7 per cent after a drop of 5.7 per cent in April as the sector was weighed down by restrictions on in-person shopping meant to combat the third wave of COVID-19.
The accommodation and food services sector was similarly affected by restrictions and declined by 2.4 per cent in May, which was not as bad as the 4.3 per cent drop in April.
Statistics Canada said manufacturing declined 0.8 per cent in May, marking the third contraction in four months.
The agency also noted that residential building construction dropped 4.2 per cent in May, down for the first time since November 2020, and a decline of 0.4 per cent in the real estate sector as home resale activity slowed.
“As housing sales and construction levels gradually return to more sustainable levels, this area of the economy could be a drag on growth in coming months,” noted TD senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam.
Statistics Canada said the easing of public health restrictions in many provinces in June helped reverse the slide in sectors reliant on in-person services, like retail, accommodation and food services, which all saw growth.
The agency adds that there were also gains in manufacturing in June, while construction and wholesale trade appear to have contracted.
The figures for June and the second quarter will be finalized at the end of August.
CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes said the economy has some open road to recover more lost ground this summer with virus cases generally low across the country.
“That said, there remain challenges on the horizon, most notably in the form of variants of the virus which have slowed progress towards healing in other developed economies,” he wrote in a note.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2021.
World Economy Caps Extraordinary Return From Covid-19 Collapse – The Wall Street Journal
The world economy likely returned to its pre-pandemic size in the spring, according to economists, marking an extraordinary comeback from the deepest global downturn in decades. But new variants of Covid-19 are casting a cloud over the global expansion, disrupting manufacturing powerhouses in Asia, leaving some Western consumers on edge and driving a wedge between rich and poor countries.
In Europe and North America, businesses and households are starting to look tentatively beyond the pandemic, thanks to widespread vaccinations. But governments in parts of Asia are introducing new social restrictions and spending plans to combat the fast-spreading Delta variant. Meanwhile, Africa’s low vaccination rate means its economic recovery is expected to lag other regions.
Close to 40% of the population in advanced economies has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, compared with 11% in emerging market economies, according to the International Monetary Fund.
That, along with large-scale government spending, has spurred a burst of pent-up spending by consumers in rich countries. The rapid return of Western economies has in turn stretched global supply chains, strained labor markets and, alongside resurgent demand, driven inflation to multiyear highs. That is putting pressure on central banks to start phasing out aggressive easy-money policies to cool their economies, which could weigh on the recovery.
The eurozone economy grew at an annualized rate of 8.3% in the three months through June, outpacing the larger U.S. economy and ending a brief recession in the winter months, according to data published by the European Union’s statistics agency on Friday. EU officials expect the bloc’s economy to return to its pre-pandemic size during the final quarter of this year.
In the U.S., economic output grew at an annual rate of 6.5% in the second quarter and rose above its pre-pandemic level, powered by an extraordinary increase in consumer spending and business investment.
Shipping bottlenecks and commodities costs are helping drive inflation in the U.S. WSJ visits a patio-furniture factory in China to see why refurbishing your backyard could be pricier this year. Photo: Patrick Fok
The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
The return of the U.S. economy to its pre-pandemic size and the second-quarter growth of the eurozone means the world economy has returned to its 2019 size, according to economists at Capital Economics and Oxford Economics. The eurozone’s stronger than expected expansion probably closed the gap in global output, said economists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a think tank. The IMF expects the global economy to grow by 6% this year.
“It’s like no other recession and no other recovery,” said Neil Shearing, chief economist at Capital Economics. “The strength of the recovery has been surprising because old tools and frameworks for thinking about recessions did not apply. I think it does have legs and unlike other crises we will get back to the precrisis trend.”
Annualized data measures the amount that an economy would grow if it continued expanding at the same pace over the course of a year. Compared with the first quarter of 2021, the eurozone economy grew by 2% in the second quarter.
“Everyone is still unsure about the impact of this [Delta] variant, but we don’t see hesitation to place orders,” said
Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG
, a German manufacturer of vacuum pumps that has seen orders jump more than 40% in the past year.
French luxury group
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
on Monday reported revenue of €28.7 billion for the first half of 2021, 14% higher than the same period in 2019. In Italy, revenue at Giorgio Armani SpA increased by about a third in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier, driven by strong sales in China and the U.S.
While widespread vaccinations in Western countries have sparked an economic boom, in Asia the resurgence of Covid-19 this summer has hammered consumer sentiment in many countries and unsettled the region’s manufacturing supply chains, a bright spot of global activity during the pandemic as stay-at-home workers ordered more consumer goods.
Factory activity in China expanded at a slower pace in June, in part due to disruptions at one of the nation’s largest ports caused by the Covid outbreak. Consumer spending, which hasn’t yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, could take a further hit as new clusters of the Delta variant were detected at more than a dozen cities this week, prompting strict lockdown measures.
Uneven global growth is “an important feature of this recovery” that could weigh on the powerful U.S. expansion, Federal Reserve Chair
The company expects its revenue to more than double over the next five years, to €3 billion, equivalent to around $3.6 billion. It is hiring hundreds of workers in Europe and plans to hire around 5,000 to staff a new €1.7 billion factory in Malaysia.
But while Mr. Gerstenmayer sees no slowdown in China, “in other Southeast Asian countries, we see that the Covid situation is worsening.”
In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and manufacturing powerhouse, business sentiment dimmed in recent weeks as companies worried about supply-chain bottlenecks and rising Covid-19 infection numbers, according to a closely watched survey by the Ifo think tank. German inflation rose to 3.1% in July, its highest level since August 2008.
Greek and Spanish authorities recently imposed new social restrictions in the holiday island of Mykonos and the region of Catalonia to combat rising infections. International tourist arrivals to Europe were down by 85% for the first five months compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organization.
In Asia, slow vaccine rollouts are disrupting some economies. In Indonesia and Vietnam, some industrial zones were recently ordered to operate at limited capacity to prevent the spread of cases, potentially disrupting supply chains of consumer goods.
Pou Chen Group,
a supplier to sneakers brands including
and Adidas, halted its factory operation in Ho Chi Minh City for part of July.
Thailand’s finance ministry cut the country’s 2021 growth forecast to 1.3%, from 2.3% on Thursday as the country, which relies heavily on foreign tourists, has struggled to contain the largest Covid-19 outbreak to date. Japanese car maker Toyota said it would continue to halt production at factories in Thailand from late July into early August as the resurgence of Covid in Southeast Asia led to a shortage of components.
The IMF this week lowered its growth forecast for five Southeast Asian countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Africa, several major economies, including South Africa, have in recent weeks implemented new lockdowns to slow a record surge of Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant.
The IMF expects Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, to grow just 2.5% in 2021, despite the rise in oil prices, while the South African Reserve Bank says it will take Africa’s most developed economy until some time in 2023 to reach its pre-pandemic output.
Ralph Varathaiah in January started operating his South African-Indian fusion restaurant from home after he accumulated nearly $14,000 in missed rental payments for its former premises in a busy Johannesburg shopping center.
He is now trying to support his own family, plus three employees, through Uber Eats and other takeaway orders. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next six months,” he said. “We are just trying our best to keep things afloat.”
Meanwhile, many businesses have become more efficient as the pandemic forced them to switch up their business models and embrace technological change. The U.S. economy has returned to its pre-pandemic level of output despite having around seven million fewer workers.
The massive decline in business and leisure travel last year sharply reduced sales at
a Munich-based car-rental company. It responded by reducing its fleet, cutting staff and introducing new services such as long-term rentals, said co-CEO Alexander Sixt.
The company also automated and streamlined its processes, eliminating low-margin business. It invested in a pricing system that helps to optimize car usage and rates. Its revenue is now bouncing back strongly, while its costs are up to 15% lower than in 2019, Mr. Sixt said.
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