According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on the Class 8 Tractor Dashboard dropped in August to a -3 reading, the fifth moderately downbeat reading in six months.
The Transportation Digest, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the US macro economy.
“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 -3 readings since March compares favorably to the double-digit Dashboard declines experience during those periods,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “We expect more and more negative readings are inbound, though they are not here yet.”
When asked about underlying takeaways, Vieth concluded, “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.”
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
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