Preliminary net orders for medium and heavy-duty trucks rose in October, lifted by the promise of improving consumer confidence, according to ACT Research.
Class 8 heavy truck orders for October are likely to approach 23,200 units when final data is tallied in mid-November, the Columbus, Ind.-based research firm said.
Medium-duty Class 5 to 7 net orders are expected to approach 18,500 units, backed by stronger demand for trucks, buses and RVs, ACT Research said Friday.
That’s a strong gain from September, when ACT Research pegged preliminary net orders for Class 8 tractors at 15,600 units and 14,000 for Classes 5 to 7.
Preliminary net orders for heavy-duty trucks were up 49 percent from September's forecast figure, and 32 percent for medium-duty trucks.
The improvement follows a recovery in consumer spending, strong housing data, and rising consumer confidence, said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst.
The Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence jumped in October to 72.2, its highest level since February 2008, the research group said Thursday.
The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most economists expected about 125,000 new jobs last month.
Transportation employment rose 2.2 percent last month, with gains in trucking and warehousing, a sign that freight demand continues to grow, albeit slowly.
The increase in orders also underscores strong replacement vehicle demand that was depressed as the economic recovery slowed this spring and summer.
“Even a small amount of economic comfort, there is positive underlying demand for commercial vehicles in the North American market,” Vieth said in a statement.