ACT: Economy Strong, But Trade Uncertainty a Moderating Force



ACT Research’s latest Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest release noted that the overall economic picture remains largely unchanged, with growth moderating in 2019 from last year’s vigorous pace. The trade war with China, which had been put on the back burner earlier this year, was put back on high heat at the beginning of this month. The report provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.

“While we can hope for a better outcome than overly-heated rhetoric suggests, should the tariffs occur, freight markets, which are already stagnating, will be impacted. The moral of the story is that if goods cost more, fewer goods can be purchased,” said Steve Tam, ACT vice president. “Aside from trade, however, the overall economic picture remains largely unchanged, with growth moderating in 2019, after growing nearly 3% in 2018.”

Regarding freight, Tam added, “While there is a very low probability, and no expectation, of an economy-wide recession this year, freight-related data points have been sufficiently bad, both in breadth and duration, that a freight recession is not out of the question, and higher tariffs could be what tips the scales.”

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