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Class 8 forecast upbeat despite slow March, April

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In its May issue of the ACT N.A. Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK, Americas Commercial Trucking (ACT) ResearchCo. LLC continues to believe that U.S. economic activity in 2012 will expand at a moderate pace of 2.2%.

Slow employment growth will act as a brake on more robust growth. Inflationary pressures are expected to hover in the 2% area. The March and April softening in Class 8 truck orders to “below expectations” was insufficient to cause the existing ACT build and sales forecasts to be lowered.

“Because the 2012 forecast was already discounted for risk, and because industry backlogs are large, we remain comfortable with our 2012 forecast,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

Vieth cited healthy trucker profits, solid used truck values, an old fleet, and a clear path to continued profitability as factors supporting the forecast. “Our expectations for the cycle peak in 2013 are shallower with stronger demand now stretching through 2014,” he added.

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