ACT Research: Across-the-Board Strength: US Economy, CV Demand, and Production Constraints

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported that while the US economy and commercial vehicle demand remain strong, so do the constraints that have been hampering production for the better part of this year.

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.

“US GDP growth is projected at 6.2% this year and next. That bullish outlook is predicated on solid freight metrics and consumers who continue to spend at relatively higher rates on goods, as well as millennial demographics, record savings and wealth, and pent-up housing demand that all bode well for continued strength in freight-related economic activity,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Regarding commercial vehicle demand, medium-duty, heavy-duty and trailer backlogs are essentially filled into 2022, with backlog-to-build ratios well above traditional ranges and inventories below traditional thresholds.”

Used 6.17.21-1Vieth added, “While the semiconductor situation is not expected to be rectified this year, there are reports of supply improvements, but those have not yet translated into higher build rates. If spot rates are any guide, steel supplies also remain tight. As well, keeping and growing staff amidst demographic challenges during a pandemic is no easy feat. Add to these other anecdotes suggesting an entire vehicle worth of parts are in short supply, from tires to foams and plastics and more. Added together, these points continue to make clear that supply-chain constraints, rather than fleet/consumer demand, are the primary drivers of vehicle production in 2021.”

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

What’s coming next in 2021 and 2022? ACT’s 65th OUTLOOK Seminar is the planning event for your business needs. Mark your calendar for August 24-26, 2021 to gain market updates and forecasts from ACT’s award-winning, veteran team with more than 200 years of combined industry experience. Click here for more details. 

ACT’s commercial electric vehicle study, Charging Forward: 2020-2024 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis, was published on March 31, 2021, after months of extensive research. Utilizing industry expertise and analysis, as well as the input from a comprehensive list of key industry study participants, ACT Research has developed a critical guide for battery electric and fuel cell electric unit build and sales forecasts over the next two decades. With coverage of Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, ACT has identified 14 market subsegments and more than 20 application types; this one-of-a-kind report is a must-have for those investing or investigating electric power opportunities. To learn more or to purchase this report, click here

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