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Experts Tell NTEA Attendees Economy to Expand by Second Quarter 2002

March 26, 2002

U.S. economists told attendees at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) 2002 Economic Update in Orlando, FL, that the recession affecting the commercial truck and transportation industry has reached a trough and the economy will begin to expand again by the second quarter of 2002. While the overall outlook for the truck industry points toward recovery, the heavy-truck market outlook is less than rosy. “The heavy-truck market will be negatively impacted in the second and third quarter of 2002 by lower freight tonnage, higher insurance costs, declining used-truck values, and a likely price increase resulting from new emissions requirements,” said Eli Lustgarten, managing director of H.C. Wainwright and Co. Inc. (New York). Lustgarten added that there was a record 4,200 truck company bankruptcies in 2001, which is likely to impact recovery for the heavy-truck market in 2002 as well. Within the Class 8 sector, the number of first owners of vehicles 5 years old or less fell 4 percent in four years while the second-owner population of six- to 10-year-old vehicles grew by 23 percent. This pattern has resulted in a glut of unsold new trucks that will take some time to subside, reported Martin Labbe, president and CEO of Martin Labbe Associates (Ormond Beach, FL). NTEA will host a full-day Economic Outlook Sept. 19, 2002, at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, MI. For more information, contact Stephen Latin-Kasper at (414) 294-3408 or e-mail
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