With Freight-Generating Sectors on the Mend, ACT Predicts 5-Year Expansion

At 128 months, the current U.S. economic expansion is the longest on record, surpassing the previous cycle record (1992-2001) by eight months and counting. And with solid consumer fundamentals, no obvious imbalances, and a manufacturing downturn in the rearview mirror, it is harder to see a recession now than it was six months ago, according to ACT Research’s North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK.

“Starting with the caveat ‘exogenous events,’ our outlook calls for an uninterrupted economic expansion through the five-year forecast horizon,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “While the economic cycle is presently at a low ebb, signs of any step-downs from here are moderating. While there are datapoints that remain negative, industrial production was still contracting as recently as December; others are suggesting the bottom is passing.

“With key freight-generating sectors of the economy starting to mend, we are reminded that freight cycle troughs tend to last around two years. With the current cycle dating from Q4/18, we have entered the sixth quarter of what is typically an eight-quarter process. We would note that only once in the 2000s has a freight-cycle trough persisted beyond two years, 2007-2009.”

The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next one to five years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast.

Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.

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