Class 8 orders for December were up 6 percent from November but were 30 percent lower than the number of orders in December 2011, says FTR Associates. Orders in the final quarter of the year were much higher than the second and third quarters, FTR says, but numbers for December were low relative to recent years.
“December orders were disappointing and were at the low end of expectations. This confirms our forecast for a weaker start to 2013. It is possible that fleets have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a resolution to the fiscal cliff. If so, we would expect to see some better numbers in January,” says Eric Starks, president of FTR.
Trucking research firm ACT Research also reported a slight bump in orders in December from November in preliminary data and attributed possible hesitation in the market due to fiscal cliff negotiations, too.
“We suspect the looming “fiscal cliff” was a limiting factor in what is typically a strong order month for Class 8. With the biggest piece of fiscal uncertainty now in the rearview mirror, improved forward visibility should allow for better orders in coming months,” says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT Research.