According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the Class 8 truck market started 2019 with powerful positive momentum, although uncertainty surrounding trade and tariffs and a slowing global economy are still causes for caution. In the Classes 5-7 market, the truck segment continued to buoy the total medium-duty market. In other news, same dealer sales of used Class 8 equipment continued to struggle in December; sales remain well above year-to-date levels, however.
The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis across a wide variety of industry sources to paint a comprehensive picture of trends in transportation and commercial vehicle markets, also suggests that U.S. economic growth in 2019 remains in a positive, if less certain, environment.
“The month of January was marked by high volatility in policy, in financial markets, and in the data trends we follow,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continues, “Even in these turbulent times, the whipsawing of the past several months is atypical; while continuing growth is expected, uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policy and a slowing global economy warrant caution.”
Regarding the Class 8 market, Vieth says, “The heavy-duty truck market is maintaining its momentum, but the critical question remains cycle duration.” He adds, “Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, we continue to maintain a largely unchanged Class 8 outlook, which anticipates that a growing supply-demand imbalance will erode demand into the end of the year.”