There are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the economic health of the U.S. and the truck and transportation industry in 2003, according to panelists at the National Truck Equipment Association’s (NTEA) 2003 Economic Outlook Conference (EOC). Seven economists and industry experts offered economic forecasts and analyses to 80 attendees at the one-day program on Sept. 18, 2002 in Dearborn, MI. The U.S. economy should grow slowly through 2002 and pick up the pace somewhat in 2003 because of anticipated growth in consumer spending, said Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist for General Motors Corp. Jack Shaner, chief economist for Caterpillar Inc., said capital expenditures need to increase in order for the economy to really recover. With the exception of the telecommunications industry, all segments of the private sector are expected to increase construction spending in 2003, which should offset the negative impact of declining expenditures on the part of state and local governments.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials