Low Confidence in Economy Reason for Soft Truck Orders

COLUMBUS, IN — The softness in commercial vehicle net orders is a confidence issue rather than a freight issue, says ACT Research on its latest commercial vehicle preliminary net orders report.

Preliminary net orders for class 5-7 trucks for May were down from April, reports ACT Research. Class 8 numbers, while still soft for May, are showing a slight improvement.

ACT Research expects the final Class 8 numbers to land around the 18,000 mark, with medium duty numbers bouncing into the 13,100 zone.

“As has been the case the past two months, the issue appears to center on credit-buying truckers’ confidence in the economy relative to the risk of taking out a sizeable loan,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst, ACT Research.

“Highlighting the notion that the recent pullback in orders is a confidence rather than freight related issue, cancellations in recent months have remained at low levels. Beyond confidence, the demand check boxes remain positive, suggesting that the pull-back is temporary.”

However temporary that pull-back may be, don’t expect orders to spike anytime soon, Vieth explained. “July and August are typically the softest order months of the year.”

“Of course, we are approaching the period of the year that is associated with order weakness: July and August are typically the softest order months of the year,” he added.

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