ACT Research: Commercial Vehicle Markets Continue to Deteriorate

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research noted that expectations for the Class 8 and trailer markets anticipate an accelerating pullback in build rates, as freight market conditions remain at a low ebb.

While less cliff-like, MD market indicators continue to support a modest correction into 2020.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.

This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.

“With about 80% of the North American Class 8 market and 90% of the North American Classes 5-7 and trailer markets beholden to the US economy, it is little wonder that we expend great energy to continually assess the economy,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president. “This month, it is worth touching on the weaker-than-anticipated activity in the economies of Canada and Mexico, with GDP expectations for the former pared back to 1.5% in April, and the latter falling to 0.6% this year.”

Tam added, “Not surprisingly, the primary drivers of devolution in North American economic activity and expectations are broadly the same in all three cases and can be succinctly summed up in just a few words: trade war, threats, and tariffs. More broadly, the slowdown in global economic activity in large part represents the fallout from the clash of economic titans that began in early 2018.”

He concluded, “The key risk to all vehicle market forecasts, and the US economy broadly, in either direction, remains the trade war with China. With U.S. manufacturers and farmers struggling to compete on the tilted global playing field, the key driver of growth in the mid-term outlook is the US consumer, with job and wage growth, as well as savings rates, all at healthy levels and supported by consumer confidence and spending.”

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