According to 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.
“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 lead up to the downturn.”
When asked about the take-away, Vieth said:
“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. 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.”
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.