ACT Research: Class 8 Tractor Dashboard Drops for Fifth Time in Six Months

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on the Class 8 Tractor Dashboard dropped in August to a minus three reading, the fifth moderately downbeat reading in six months.

“Dashboard readings to date suggest a more gradual deceleration in Class 8-focused metrics than was the case in our last three market downturns: the Great Recession in 2008, the popping of the global commodity price bubble in 2014 and, most recently, the consequences of protectionist trade policy in 2019. Obviously, negatives are not positive, but the nearly unbroken string of minus three readings since March compares favorably to the double-digit Dashboard declines experience[d] during those periods,” Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research, said. “We expect more and more negative readings are inbound, though they are not here yet.”

When asked about underlying takeaways, Vieth said, “The trucking stock index pulled back into neutral territory, while residential construction expenditure deteriorated into negative territory from neutral. Of the 15 variables in the Dashboard, three were at ‘positive’ levels, down from four in July, while the number of variables in ‘negative’ territory increased from five to six.”

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