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Economists give thumbs-up for future

THE PRESENTERS WHO spoke at the National Truck Equipment Association's annual Economic Outlook Conference gave a generally favorable forecast for the overall economy and the industry's markets.

The conference, held September 21 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan, featured the following presentations and panelists:

  • End-use Market Review, Eli Lustgarten.

    Lustgarten is senior vice president of Longbow Research (Cleveland, Ohio) and principal of ESL Consultants (St. Louis, Missouri). In his prior role as managing director for H C Wainwright & Co Inc, he was responsible for the analysis of the industrial manufacturing and technology sector of the economy. He was formerly managing director and head of the Industrial Manufacturing Group at Schroder & Co. Lustgarten also served as a design engineer in the defense industry and as an analyst for the electrical equipment and machine industries. He has been recognized six times by The Wall Street Journal All-Star Analyst poll. Lustgarten appeared as an expert witness on the machine tool industry before the House Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization (The Committee on House Banking and Urban Affairs) and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

  • Truck Industry Market Forecast, Martin Labbe.

    Labbe is president and chief executive officer of Martin Labbe Associates (Ormond Beach, Florida), a transportation information consulting firm. Founded in 1985, MLA provides a forecast service for vehicle sales — both new and used — as well as aftermarket parts demand forecasts. To accomplish this effort, MLA creates economic forecasts that lead to transportation forecasts, equipment demand forecasts, population change forecasts, and aftermarket demand forecasts. Additionally, independent research provides further insight into forecasting market changes.

  • Truck Market, Domestic and International, Stephen Latin-Kasper.

    Latin-Kasper joined the NTEA in 1999 as director of market data and research, providing research and analysis on markets and economic indicators as they relate to the commercial truck and transportation equipment industry. He started his career at the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as an economic statistician. To gain experience in his academic field of specialization, he joined the Peace Corps in 1981, where he worked for the Republic of the Marshall Islands government as an economic development advisor. Upon returning to the United States, he joined the National Fluid Power Association as economist and statistical services manager.

  • North American Macroeconomic Forecast, Tim O'Neill.

    O'Neill is founder and principal of O'Neill Strategic Economics (Toronto, Canada). He served as executive vice president and chief economist of Bank of Montreal (BMO) from 1994 to 2005. He joined BMO in 1993 as senior vice president and deputy chief economist. Previously, he held the position of president of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council from 1988 to 1993. For 12 years before that, he taught in the Department of Economics at St. Mary's University. He served as a consultant to several provincial governments, as well as to the Canadian federal government. In his teaching, research, and consulting activities, he focused extensively on the structure and performance of the North American economy. Areas covered in his publications and public presentations have ranged from macroeconomic forecasts and assessment of key sectors of the economy, to examination of broader themes such as the employment effects of technological change, and the economic impact of low literacy skills.

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