It is hard to look at the above headline and not be concerned about U.S. 2017 economic momentum.
The Wall Street Journal paints an unpleasant picture: Orders for heavy-duty commercial trucks in North America plummeted 46% in October from the same month last year, providing a grim outlook for truck manufacturers in the coming year.
In a month when fleets often set their plans for adding new trucks and replacing older rigs for the following year, market forecaster ACT Research’s preliminary order October volume was 13,900 vehicles, flat from September’s order volume and extending a trend of historic lows for another month.
Trucking companies have held back upgrading or expanding fleets as shipping demand has remained weak amid tepid manufacturing growth and high retail inventory levels. The latest reports show freight volume and prices both declined into September, and large carriers including Swift Transportation Inc. and Werner Enterprises have pulled hundreds of trucks from the roads.