Transport Topics | Full Speed Ahead for Economy, Trucking in 2018

01.03.18 | Daniel P. Bearth

Trucking firms are revved up for 2018, with predictions of tight capacity and strong demand for freight hauling setting the stage for an anticipated big year ahead for the industry, and indicators pointing to a potentially sustained period of business expansion in the United States and around the globe.

That confidence is boosted by the expectation that Congress’ efforts on tax reform will lead to a friendlier regulatory environment for trucking, with uncertainty regarding health care reform and trade negotiations doing little to tamp down enthusiasm.

Congress and the Trump administration also have indicated they will finally begin consideration of a long-awaited infrastructure funding proposal in January.

“Business people are giddy with excitement as business conditions and confidence are at their highest level since the Great Recession,” said Don Ake, a trucking industry analyst at FTR Transportation Intelligence in Bloomington, Ind. “CEOs all the way down to factory workers are hopeful the economy has broken through seven years of the slow-growth recovery and will get even better in the future.”

Another FTR analyst, Steve Graham, said the outlook is positive for both domestic and foreign markets.

“Global expansion is accelerating as growth continues to synchronize across both developed and emerging economies,” Graham said in a recently published commentary. “The U.S. economy is hitting on most of its cylinders, with healthy consumption and a return of business investment. Autos have probably seen their best days and housing remains weak, but most of the parts of the U.S. economy are working together.”

Graham said that he expects real gross domestic product to continue accelerating from 1.5% growth in 2016 to 2.2% in 2017 and to reach 2.8% in 2018, even before taking into account the impact of tax reform legislation that was being ironed out as 2017 drew to a close.

Read the full article by clicking here >

For more information about the work of FTR, follow on Twitter @ftrintel, sign up to receive the State of Freight TODAY monthly eNewsletter, or call Helen Lile at (888) 988-1699, ext. 1.