Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
— Albert Einstein
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Post-Election Economic Analysis

Because we have heard that there is a shortage of comments about the outcome of the election, we thought we would make an effort to relieve that shortfall.

Lost in all the tumult of the election reporting was some good news last week from Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] about employment in the trucking sector.  As you know, both from our Roadshow presentations and from the TEA newsletter, we follow the series on Truck Transportation very closely. We were encouraged to see that the BLS had revised their estimate of the change in employment in September from a decline of 3,600 persons to a gain of 1,800 persons and then noted the addition of another 3,000 jobs in October.  This news reversed a pattern where we had been seeing several small, but persistent, month-to-month declines in employment.

 
Bob Dieli, Economist

Bob Dieli, Economist

The reason why we were glad to see this, besides the obvious reason that we always prefer gains in employment to losses, is that Truck Transportation employment has been an important coincident indicator of overall economic activity.  Prior to the last two business cycle peaks, trucking employment began to drop ahead of the general declines that would later prevail as the economy rolled over into recession.

Truck Transportation Employment

2016

The resumption of growth in trucking employment squares up with both signals we have been getting from our leading indicators of economic performance, and from anecdotal evidence we have been hearing about our industry conditions improving after the lull induced by the combined effects of the higher dollar and slower activity overseas.  We will have more details on this in the Truckable Economic Activity newsletter that will be published early next month.

As to the election results.  The first thing you should keep in mind is that there is always a considerable lag between the arrival of a new administration and the effects of implementation of their ideas on what should be done about the economy.  The first lag is the time that it takes them to set their priorities and propose legislation.  The second is the time it takes for that legislation to be enacted.  The third is the time it takes for the measures to have an effect that can be seen in the economic indicators.

Perhaps the most famous case of this process is the Economic Recovery and Tax Act of 1981 which embodied the first phase of what has come to be called the Reagan tax cuts.  The bill was introduced in the Congress in July of 1981, a full six months after President Reagan took office.  He signed the bill into law in August, the second month of a recession that would last until November of 1982.

The economic effects of the tax cut were large, and far-reaching.  The full measurement of their effects took years to complete.

Which of the several proposals on fiscal policy will be adopted next year is anybody’s guess (that’s a technical term).  But you should be realistic in your expectations as to how much things might change over the near term.

 

--Dr. Robert F. Dieli,  Economist


A monthly survey of truck dealers and heavy duty distributors has their parts sales to end users down 3% & 2.5%, respectively, year-to-date through August.
— John Blodgett, October 2016 "Truck Parts & Service" Article

U.S. Trailer Connectors Aftermarket

In the United States there are over 4.9 million trailers and container chassis. These trailers and container chassis are being connected and unconnected, some on a daily basis, some even more frequently, from the tractors which pull them.  We are launching our inaugural examination of the truck/trailer connector aftermarket.

 

The components to be examined in MacKay & Company’s research study of tractor-to-trailer connections will include:

Air ConnectORS

1.      Air hose

2.      Air hose fittings

3.      Gladhands

4.      Gladhand seals

Electrical ConnectORS

1.      Sockets/plugs

2.      Electrical cords 

This study is in the initial stages which allows study participants to get in on the ground level – providing input on survey questions and specifying tailored component research needs.  For all DataMac® Clients, please Contact John Blodgett for special pricing or email john.blodgett@mackayco.com.


By John Moery

Coming Soon in November 2016 Issue of Truck Parts & Service Magazine.

"Prime" -type Delivery has been an industry standard for years

Excerpts:

Among all respondents to the Truck and Trailer Service Study in 2015, reported overall average acceptable wait time to begin major repair of a down vehicle was 34 hours.....

In order for the repair to commence, the part has to be on hand. In the current world of internet ordering in which we live, for a fee, your order can arrive in two days – sometimes even earlier. The remarkable part of this is, it doesn’t matter what you order — could be Qtips, could be brake pads… two days at your doorstep. This is not a new concept for those in the business of repairing vehicles….

People in our industry call this good customer service and have been delivering it for decades....