ACT Research Class 8 tractor dashboard still downbeat
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ACT Research Class 8 tractor dashboard still downbeat

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ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on the Class 8 Tractor Dashboard was unchanged in May, the third month of moderately downbeat readings.

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“Our interpretation of the recent Tractor Dashboard reading is a gradual erosion of Class 8 market demand into the second half of 2022, but no ‘spiral down’ and certainly not a ‘cliff event’,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research. “With a recession in 2023 now our base case, we think the dashboard reading, while negative, still suggests a better outcome for Class 8 than was the case in our last two recessions [COVID 2020 and the 2008-09 Great Recession], as supply constraints have kept the industry from overbuilding in the leadup to the downturn.”

When asked about the take-away, Vieth concluded, “Disaggregating the dashboard, we see the most pronounced adverse trends in the freight segment, with four of five indicators in negative territory. The readings from the economic and ACT State-of-the-Industry data sets are more of a mixed bag of positives, neutrals and negatives.” He also mentioned, “For readers who are new to this framework or want a refresh, we believe that the dashboard offers a three to six-month forward-looking metric for conditions in the tractor market.”

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The report, 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.

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