Net orders for trailers improved in May, coming in at levels higher than the lows experienced in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

According to the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report, conducted by ACT Research, the month's numbers may provide hope that trailer orders are coming off a bottom. While May orders were still off 37 percent from the previous year, the second quarter is already ahead of the total net orders reported in the last two quarters.

"Order improvement and an increasing backlog from continued low production levels are both positives," said Gayatri Deshpande, research analyst with ACT Research. "However, there are still significant headwinds in the economy and the industry that will challenge new demand for the remainder of 2009."

ACT publishes commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market.

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