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ACT Research: February’s Tractor Dashboard Extended Steep-Pitched Decline of January

April 25, 2022, 06:58 AM
Filed Under: Transportation

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on ACT’s Tractor Dashboard in February extended the steep-pitched decline of January, taking the dashboard top line tally from double-digits in January to zero.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the U.S. macro economy.

“Not even in the days of the COVID shock, from January to March 2020, when the top line index went from negative 5 to negative 10, has the index fallen so far so fast. And it is important to note that the buildup in Russian forces on the Ukraine border had just started in January, so the threat of a conflict had little or no influence on that month’s result,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “Most of the softness has occurred in the metrics for the overall business environment – slowing in consumer goods spending (weak sales results for light vehicles), residential construction (inflation), and truck stock prices (impacted by higher global risk and Fed tightening).”

 Vieth further noted, “In February, freight indicators joined the softening parade, with fraying around the edges as metrics like the Cass Freight Index saw growth decelerate.”

When asked about the take-away, Vieth explained, “Despite record carrier profitability and pent-up demand for all commercial vehicles, the corrosive effects of accelerating inflation and the Fed’s response increase downside risks to demand for the goods hauled by those vehicles.”

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