ACT Research: Class 8 Market Indicators Diverge

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, Class 8 market indicators are divergent, with some at all-time highs even as other metrics point to coming weakness. The medium duty market measures are lower in the short-term, but still positive against longer-term comparisons.

The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. Foundational to freight and vehicle demand, data increasingly suggest the U.S. economy is decelerating, amid increasing uncertainty, particularly as it relates to tariff impositions.

“Seldom in the span of available history for the Class 8 North American marketplace has there been such a wide gap between indicators that are robust and those that point to weakness,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “Monthly data for build and retail sales are close to all-time highs, but these are backward-looking metrics. Forward-looking measures, like net orders and inventories, are telling a different tale, pointing to trouble ahead as we close the books on 2019 and prepare for 2020.”

Regarding the medium duty market, Vieth commented, “The total medium duty market was decidedly weaker in June, with forward-looking markers signaling waning growth, while sequentially build was lower and sales improved at the margin.”

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