Fleet Management

Economists Provide 2008 Forecasts at NTEA Summit

November 08, 2007

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Commercial truck sales will experience a slow recovery after the first quarter of 2008, while heavy-duty sales are likely to grow faster next year than medium-duty trucks, according to Stephen Latin-Kasper,
National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) market data and research director.
Latin-Kasper was one of five leading economists who spoke at the 2008 Business and Market Planning Summit held Oct. 30-31 in Rosemont, Ill. He also predicted moderate interest rates and inflation, low unemployment and increased trade, as well as increased state and local revenues.
In addition to Latin-Kasper, the following economists spoke at the summit: William Strauss, senior economist and economic adviser for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Mark Vitner, senior economist & director of corporate investment banking for Wachovia Corp.; Martin Labbe, president & CEO of Martin Labbe Associates; and Eli Lustgarten, senior vice president of Longbow Securities and president of ESL Consultants Inc.

Among comments, the economists said:
· Oil prices are near all-time highs, but when adjusted for inflation, they are well below early 1980s prices.
· Home sales peaked about two years ago and should bottom out by the end of the year.
· The U.S. economy's industrial sector is regaining momentum after a slow start for the year and a two-tier recovery is on track.
· A demand for ethanol will be a key factor in the increased demand for farm equipment.

The NTEA, in cooperation with co-sponsor the National Trailer Dealers Association (NTDA), hosted the summit. For a complete recap, visit www.ntea.com, or www.ntda.org.

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