ACT Research: Inflation vs. the Fed, October OUTLOOK Forecasts Lowered

According to ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, forecasts this month are slightly lower than September due to stubborn inflation and the Fed’s continued firm action toward bringing it down to their 2% target.

The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1-5 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.

ACT Research: Inflation vs. the Fed, October OUTLOOK Forecasts LoweredAccording to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, “We note that we are already starting to see some commentary arguing the Federal Reserve is moving monetary policy too fast, thereby increasing the likelihood of an overshoot that leads to a recession.” He added, “The data suggest the Fed has little choice. It is our view that the Fed will continue on its course of tighter monetary policy, as still deep-pocketed consumers and businesses drive demand for labor in structurally constrained labor markets.” When asked about labor, Vieth said, “Employment metrics suggest there is little room to rein in wage inflation outside of aggressive monetary policy actions that reduce demand. Job growth is moderating, but September’s job gains were still 38% above the 2011-2019 average of 190k jobs per month.”

When asked about heavy-duty commercial vehicle expectations, Vieth offered, “The critical factor in forecasting 2023 is the answer to the question, ‘when do lower freight rates compress carrier profits sufficiently to kill the cycle?’ Our current thinking is that the negatives begin weighing on demand by the second half of 2023.” “However,” he concluded, “with prebuying ahead of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) expensive Clean Truck mandate late next year and still healthy carrier margins early in the year, a case can be made that demand strength will be sustained through 2023. Higher volumes in 2023 would come at the expense of vehicle demand in 2024.”

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

ACT’s 68th Seminar is scheduled for February 21-23, 2023. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at

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