FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing January Class 8 truck net orders at 22,235, 7% higher than December but down 11% year-over-year.
Orders for Class 8 vehicles have been above the 20,000 mark for the past four months, showing some strength after a soft period mid-year 2012. Preliminary order numbers are for all major North American OEMs.
Eric Starks, president of FTR commented, "We've been forecasting a weak start to 2013 and the numbers we're now seeing, while improving, are still below where they should be for a solid recovery.
"Washington has resolved part of the looming fiscal cliff crisis in the short term and business investment picked up in the fourth quarter, which is a good sign that businesses are willing to spend money. Hopefully, more fleets will take these as positive signs to now go ahead and place some orders for equipment that they need."
Final data for January will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.