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ACT Research: August Order Rebound Indicates July Weakness an Outlier, Not a Canary

September 06, 2022, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in August were 21,600 units, while NA Classes 5-7 net orders were 18,400 units.

“Last month, we sounded a note of caution, with the caveat that there were a number of mitigating factors (extended backlogs, order seasonality and still-closed 2023 order boards) that prevented us from extrapolating too much from July’s weak orders,” said Eric Crawford, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. “In spite of increased economic uncertainty, carrier profitability and unmet demand continue to support activity.”

Crawford noted, “Using preliminary August orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the August State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 Vehicles report (July data) for guidance, the Class 8 backlog should fall by around 8,900 units when complete August data are released (less than the 12,400 average decline the prior three months).” About medium-duty, he said, “the Classes 5-7 backlog should decline by around 3,400 units to 132,200 units, representing ~6.1 months of production. Note that the data never quite align month to month: the orders are preliminary and the build numbers are projections, so there will be some variability in reported backlogs when final data is collected.”

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