Real economic activity in the U.S. is slowing sharply. This is showing up in lower demand for new trucks and autos, and a tailing off in freight volumes, leaving transport stocks facing more downside.
Heavy truck sales in the U.S. are very good leading indicator of economic activity, with 65% of the dollar value of North American freight moved by trucks. But new truck sales have been falling sharply and are now down 23% on an annual basis. New auto sales are falling at a similar rate. Truck and auto sales combined are falling at a rate previously only associated with recessions.