Softening Economic Outlook Moderates Class 8 Expectations Through 2012

August 16, 2011

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Despite positive underlying demand factors and freight growth, current events have impacted commercial vehicle demand, according to the most recent data reported by ACT Research.

The August issue of the ACT North American Commercial Vehicle Outlook shows that Class 8 backlogs declined slightly during June, ending a nine-month run of consecutive improvement. That decline resulted from an easing in orders during the month. While economic weakness has not resulted in increased cancellation activity, build rates declined slightly as well during June.

"The U.S. economy is growing at a very slow pace, and is more susceptible to shocks, both internal and external," explained Sam Kahan, ACT's chief economist. "We've reduced our estimate of future economic growth, which results in a reduction of our Class 8 projections for this year as well as 2012. Even though long-term demand factors continue to be solid, the economic pressures in the short and intermediate terms cannot be overlooked."

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