Outlook firming for trucks and trailers

The foundation is being set for a recovery, but those in the commercial truck and trailer industry can expect only a slow recovery, according to the speakers at this week’s Business and Market Planning Summit sponsored by the National Truck Equipment Association.

The one-day conference featured presentations by four economists: Bob Costello, chief economist and vice-president of the American Trucking Associations, Ken Kremar, Global Insights; Eli Lustgarten, senior vice-president of Longbow Securities; and Steve Latin-Kasper, market data and research director for NTEA.

Each of the speakers presented data indicating that the recession bottomed out in either June or July. They cited multiple indicators that support their conclusions. “The recovery is real, and the recession is over,” Lustgarten said. “Truck sales will double in the next couple of years, but we have to realize the base from which those numbers are calculated will make the growth rate appear stronger than it might feel.”

Commercial trucks and trailers are expected to bottom out in 2009, with noticeable improvements in 2010 and strong growth in 2011.

“Hang in there a few more months,” Latin-Kasper said. “Things are going to get better.”

Detailed coverage of the Business and Market Planning Summit will be included in the October issue of Trailer/Body Builders.

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