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FTR Associates again downgrades industry forecast

NASHVILLE, Ind. -- Industry forecaster FTR Associates, has once again downgraded its outlook for the trucking ...

NASHVILLE, Ind. — Industry forecaster FTR Associates, has once again downgraded its outlook for the trucking industry heading into 2009.


The respected trucking industry forecaster issued an update yesterday warning the “2009 forecast continues to deteriorate. Latest data points to a bad recession with powerful trucking implications.”


The warning coincided with the release of FTR Associates’ latest market forecast, released yesterday. Highlights – or lowlights – of the forecast suggest the US is in for four full quarters of economic shrinkage, indicative of a full-blown recession rivaling that of the early 80s. The current quarter will show a 4% GDP reduction, according to the forecast.


In the event of a “1982-like recession” tonnage would drop 10% year-over-year, according to FTR Associates. Trucking margins would also decrease, as would equipment purchases.  There could be 200,000 trucks in excess capacity, which would drive capacity utilization down to a level not seen in more than 10 years.


FTR Associates produces an index on trucking industry health, which draws from five key statistics.


“Should conditions deteriorate to the worst case outlook we will get significant fleet failures, strong price competition and very weak equipment orders,” the company suggests.


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