Despite materially higher downside risks to the outlook, there is still much to like about the U.S. economic setup, with jobs continuing to outstrip the supply of labor, corporate profits coming off record performance in 2021, and consumers’ balance sheets remaining well positioned—if less well positioned than before the recent market correction, according to ACT Research’s latest release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest.
“For the guys who buy commercial vehicles, the virus continued to bend consumer spending to goods and away from services in early 2022,” Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, said. “Port backlogs and inventory restocking should support freight volumes through the first half of this year, but the longer oil prices remain elevated, the more business and consumer dollars will be diverted.
“In addition to significant lingering port congestion, pent-up demand in the manufacturing sector broadly remains elevated and corporate profits continue their record-setting run, allowing businesses to invest in productivity enhancing equipment.”
Vieth also noted that used commercial vehicle prices are at record levels across Claas 8 age and mileage nodes.
“Data indicate record valuations for medium-duty and trailer assets as well.” Said. “As 2022 progresses, it is becoming increasingly clear that any victory in the form of higher production and sales is going to be hard fought. Be it inflation, supply chain, or now heightened geopolitical concerns, makers and buyers of commercial vehicles will face more challenges in discharging their duties this year.
The CV Dealer Digest 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.