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July Class 8 Truck Sales and Jobs Increased

According to ACT Research preliminary data on July Class 8 truck sales show that net orders were 16,000. A 45% year-over-year increase. Class 5-7 net orders were 16,600, a 21% increase. 

Complete data is expected to be released by mid-August.

“As represented by seasonal factors, this is the time of the year when expectations for orders are low. For both the MD Classes 5-7 and HD Class 8 markets, July is the traditional low-water mark for monthly order placements,” shared Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. 

“That low expectation is reconfirmed this year as both MD and HD 2023 backlogs, as measured by BL/BU ratios, are essentially full. In addition to already filled backlogs constraining order flows, 2024 orderboards are not yet, or just barely open, making the opportunity for bigger numbers elusive. All that said, July order activity was largely in line with or slightly above ytd trends.” he adds.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Class 8 orders were up 5.5% month-over-month at 20,700 units, and Classes 5-7 orders were up 1% month-over-month at 19,300 units.

In terms of jobs, the U.S. added 187,000 jobs in July. This number is less than expected, but with the interest rates already weighing down on the economy this is not a surprise. 

The unemployment rate in July dropped to 3.5%, which shows that the job market is stable.

“This is a good strong report,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at the jobs website ZipRecruiter. ”The worst fears that people had of a painful downturn, a loss of jobs, longer unemployment durations, all those things — those are not coming to pass.”

The trucking industry lost 2,900 seasonally adjusted jobs in July.

Despite repeated predictions of an impending recession, the U.S. economy and job market have continued to perform well.

Economists are increasingly confident that the Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting measures can result in a rare “soft landing” by raising interest rates just enough to control rising prices without causing a recession. 

Additionally, consumer confidence has been on the rise, with The Conference Board reporting that its consumer confidence index hit the highest level in two years in July 2023. 

This increase in confidence is attributed to a strong job market and easing inflation. 

However, in April 2023, the Consumer Confidence Index fell to its lowest level since July 2022, with Americans becoming more pessimistic about the job market and economic conditions.

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