According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on the Class 8 Tractor Dashboard improved in July to a neutral -2 reading, closing out four consecutive months of moderately downbeat readings.
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.
Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT, said, “Our interpretation is a gradual erosion for Class 8 market demand as we look to 2023, but no ‘spiral down’ and certainly not a ‘cliff event’.”
He continued, “Without typical late-cycle in place, we think the dashboard reading suggests a better outcome for Class 8 than was the case in our last two recessions (COVID 2020 and the 2008-2009 Great Recession).”
When asked about underlying takeaways, Vieth concluded, “We saw a jump in the Trucking Stock Index, from negative to positive territory, and a modest improvement in the DAT loads/truck metric. Of the 15 variables in the dashboard, four were at ‘positive’ levels, up from just two in June, even as the number of variables in ‘negative’ territory held steady at six.” He also mentioned, “We believe the dashboard offers a three- to six-month forward-looking window into conditions in the US tractor market. We always warn it’s never wise to forecast on the basis of just one indicator, or even an aggregate of indicators. That said, the ‘Green Minus Red Tally’ has successfully signaled inflection points in the past, so there is a track record of success.”