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Using the Trucking Industry to Gauge the Economy

Is the Trucking Industry the gauge we should be looking at to guess the economy ?

As I sip my cup of morning Joe, I wonder how this coffee got to my front door.   By my estimation, it was probably shipped from South America to California and from there trucked to a roaster.  Then trucked to my local super market.  Two thirds of all domestic goods in the U.S. are transported by truck.  Fewer trucks on the road can indicate fewer products being consumed which would then lead us to wonder if our country is spending money and more importantly, if people are making money and employed.

In February this year the FTR Conference concluded that Class 8 truck sales were declining. Chris Visser a senior analyst at NADA Used car guide stated:

“Quite a few more trucks were coming in 2015,” he said. “Lots of companies sent trucks to no-reserve auctions in mid ’15, which caused used-truck prices to fall,” and dealers must adjust.”

So what does this mean for the truck buyer?

Lower prices.  What does this mean for the overall economy?  It could mean that our growth may be flat this year as opposed to the 1% growth we’ve experiences over the past several quarters. Things remain relatively stable…. But there may be some bargains out there on vehicles and equipment.