ACT Research: Encouraging Data Indicate a Less Severe Economic Downturn for 2023

ACT Research Co.
4 min readJan 10, 2023

ACT’s latest release of the North American Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK reported moderating core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), slowing jobs growth, and decelerating wage inflation indicate the Fed’s campaign to bring inflation under control may be bearing fruit, and the need for further interest rate increases may be limited.

The N.A. CV OUTLOOK is a robust report that forecasts the future of the industry, looking at the next 1–5 years, with the objective of giving OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, and investment firms the information needed to plan accordingly for what is to come. The report provides a complete overview of the North American markets, as well as takes a deep dive into relevant, current market activity to highlight orders, production, and backlogs, shedding light on the forecast. Information included in this report covers forecasts and current market conditions for medium and heavy-duty trucks/tractors, and trailers, the macroeconomies of the US, Canada, and Mexico, publicly-traded carrier information, oil and fuel price impacts, freight and intermodal considerations, and regulatory environment impacts.

ACT Research: North America Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK

According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, “The critical factor in forecasting 2023 is identifying the point at which lower freight volumes and rates, coupled with higher borrowing costs compress carrier profits sufficiently to end the cycle. Our current thinking is the negatives begin to weigh on orders as soon as 1H’23, and more meaningfully by 2H’23.” He added, “However, with healthy backlogs, early 2023 carrier profitability strength, and the potential for a CARB-induced prebuy in California, there is a compelling case to be made for production volumes to be sustained at end-of-2022 levels through all of 2023.”

“Reflecting softer macro and freight trends, ACT’s forward-looking Tractor Dashboard remained in negative territory in November. While the dashboard has signaled incoming softness since March, the low single-digit negative readings seen in 2022 are mild, relative to the double-digit negative prints witnessed in late 2015 and early 2019.” Vieth concluded, “Part of the ‘strength’ in the current environment relates to the supply constraints that limited the industry’s ability to build all the trucks that would otherwise have been produced in 2021 and 2022.”

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

ACT’s 68th Seminar is scheduled for February 21–23, 2023. The focus will be the continuous development of decarbonization and technological advancement in on-highway transportation. Each event ACT shares its best-in-class data and forecast in presentations while featuring guest speakers to expand upon topics of interest for the benefit of attendees. More information about Seminar 68 DRIVING DECARBONIZATION: THE FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES is forthcoming. Click HERE to register now.

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For businesses working to understand the future of decarbonized powertrains across Classes 4–8 commercial vehicles, ACT Research is continuing to develop and report groundbreaking analyses of various propulsion systems’ evolution of battery electric, fuel cell electric, diesel, gasoline, natural gas and hydrogen internal combustion, as well as key considerations of government regulations and subsidies, electric, hydrogen, natural gas, and diesel/gasoline supply, and infrastructure as well as a TCO model of 50 unique vehicle applications across North America, Europe, and China through 2040. To join ACT Research in this effort as we work to develop our third edition of CHARGING FORWARD, a decarbonization forecast thru 2040, and to learn more, click HERE.

Click below to access:

More information about ACT’s NA Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK.

Details about other ACT Research products and services.

December’s NA Commercial Vehicle OUTLOOK press release.

ACT’s In the News page.



ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.