December truck orders bode well for early 2017

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Updated Jan 6, 2017

truck orderPreliminary Class 8 truck net orders for December hit 21,200 units, up 10 percent month-over-month, according to FTR.

ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth notes December was the only month in 2016 with orders above 20,000 units. 

October cancellations aside, order activity in the fourth quarter was consistent and stable FTR’s President of Commercial Vehicles, Don Ake, says.

“Orders have been following stable, traditional patterns for six months now, which is great news after the large drop off in 2016,” he adds. “Production was weak in December, but based on the Q4 orders, it should begin a modest recovery in February.”

Ake expects Class 8 backlogs to jump in December, giving the market some modest momentum starting off 2017. Net orders were 164,000 last year, but production was aided by the large backlog at the beginning of the year. 

“The most recent economic news has been positive, so freight demand should keep orders propped up for a few more months,” Ake says. “2017 still looks to be a tough year, but now backlogs are growing and that means the worst should be behind us for now.”