ACT Provides Insights as Businesses Reopen

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research found much more to like about the state of the economy today than was visible on month ago, now that the US re-opening is underway.

In recognition of the virus’ impact, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at https://pages.actresearch.net/covid-19.

The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a wide variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report includes a relevant but high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights for use by commercial vehicle dealer executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the total US trailer market, used truck sales information, and a review of the US macro economy.

“The re-openings that have been occurring since late April represent the first steps in the march toward economy recovery and green shoots are sprouting thanks to massive stimulus from Congress and the Federal Reserve,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Despite that investment, which is helping to put the economy back on track, the pandemic remains a ticking clock for many Americans whose unemployment benefits will start expiring in September.”

Specifically regarding how the CV industry might be moving forward, Vieth commented, “Demand recovery beyond replacement levels is a process that takes quarters to achieve. We see the economy expanding rapidly in 2021, creating an imbalance between effective capacity, the ability to get drivers back into seats in real-time, and freight demand.” He elaborated, “When that imbalance comes, it will be the match that lights the long fuse on a meaningful volume recovery. At that point, on top of market-driven demand, short-trade cycle fleets will have considerable pent-up replacement demand. That replacement activity will be supported by strong demand for desirably-spec’d late-model vehicles.”

Vieth further explained, “While it is hard to see silver linings presently, we note that this economic downturn was not triggered by the usual supply and demand considerations, bubbles, financial issues, etc., but by a disease. Coupling an otherwise structurally-sound pre-COVID economy, with strong Federal Reserve and Congressional support, and rising pent-up demand, there is a case to be made that the economy will respond strongly into 2021.” He concluded, “We believe that the maturing millennials will be the key to pushing the economy forward as they resume their transition to marriage, kids, and mortgages.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for Aug. 11-13, 2020. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Both in-person and livestream options are available for those who wish to participate. Click here for seminar information.