ACT Research: Slightly Lowered Forecasts, Impact on Freight Economy Deepens

ACT Research Co.
3 min readOct 31, 2022

In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research reported slightly lowered forecasts due to the Fed’s continued action toward inflation, disproportionally impacting the freight economy.

Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest

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.

According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, “ACT’s forecasts into the medium term move incrementally lower this month on the continued deterioration of economic expectations: Inflation looks more stubborn and the Federal Reserve’s increasingly resolute rhetoric shows a willingness to do whatever is required to bring inflation to long-term targets of around 2%.” On the freight economy, he added, “Importantly, for an industry that relies on the manufacturing and distribution of goods, changes to economic expectations are even more impactful to the freight economy: ACT’s freight composite drops as rates sensitive economic sectors (durables, investment, housing) are disproportionally impacted.” He concluded, “Spot rates continued to edge lower in September. ACT’s aggregation of DAT’s rate data showed slight sequential deterioration in spot freight rates on an absolute as well as seasonally adjusted (SA) basis. September spot rates averaged $1.96 net fuel, down 3.0% from August, while the SA spot rate declined 4.0%. Anecdotes indicate that contract rate negotiations are running south of -10%.”

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 68th Seminar is scheduled for February 21–23, 2023. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. When details are available, they may be found at www.actresearch.net.

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Click here for more information about ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest.

Click here for information about other ACT Research publications and services.

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ACT Research Co.

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