ACT Research  is sticking with its forecast for moderate economic growth this year, having  determined that the recent softening in truck orders does not reflect a wider economic trend.

The research firm has just reported that it “continues to believe that U.S. economic activity in 2012 will expand at a moderate pace of 2.2% with slow employment growth acting as a brake on more robust growth…. The March and April softening in Class 8 truck orders  to ‘below expectations’ was insufficient to cause the existing ACT build and sales forecasts to be lowered.”

Kenny Vieth, ACT president & senior analyst, pointed out that “because the 2012 forecast was already discounted for risk, and because industry backlogs are large, we remain comfortable with our 2012 forecast.”

The reasons supporting the forecast that he cited were “healthy trucker profits, solid used-truck values, an old fleet, and a clear path to continued profitability” for truckers.

"Our expectations for the cycle peak in 2013 are shallower with stronger demand now stretching through 2014,” Vieth added.

ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market.