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Ake’s Take: Bottleneck In The Supply Chain Is An Economic Threat

The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI for Manufacturing (Purchasing Managers Index) jumped to 60.2 in June, up from 58.7 in May and rising for the second straight month.  Considering that anything over 50 represents growth, the 60.2 is a robust reading which means everything must be wonderful in the manufacturing sector, right? Well

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Ake’s Take: A Very Simple Freight Analysis

Trucking conditions are in wonderful shape. Fleets can’t keep up with demand, and freight rates are high. Sales of new trucks and trailers are expected to approach record levels this year. The need for additional truck drivers is huge, and fleets and many owner-operators are making lots of money

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Ake’s Take: Let the Good Times Roll – For at Least Two More Years

GDP is high, and unemployment is low. Manufacturing is booming, and wages are rising. So, everyone is joyous, correct? Of course not, you are starting to see articles claiming that, if things are this good, a recession must be coming soon.   So, it is time to again consider what

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AKE’S TAKE: Is the Gopher Moving From Caution to Confidence?

Economic calamities result in changes in micro-economic behavior which can last for years. My grandfather had accounts at eight different banks, just in case seven of the banks failed; my grandmother dutifully recycled her aluminum foil, 25 years after the Great Depression had ended. People fear that bad times might return

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AKE’S TAKE: Flat Lines – Very Flat Lines

When the smoke began to clear from the economic crash known as the Great Recession, economists hoped for a V-shaped recovery. In a V-shaped recovery, the economy recedes but then snaps right back after the economic shock.  When the economy starts to revive, there is a big boost in business

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AKE’S TAKE: Boxers, Briefs, and Flatbed Trailers

How are men’s underwear sales similar to the flatbed trailer market? In the 1970s, former Fed chairman Allan Greenspan developed the “Men’s Underwear Index” as an economic indicator. The theory is that increases in men’s underwear sales signal an economic recovery. The logic is that men will

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AKE’S TAKE: The Truck Market Says a Recession is Coming Soon

Right into the Danger Zone Highway to the Danger Zone Right into the Danger Zone                            – Kenny Loggins Economic recessions are incredibly hard to predict. The next one, even more so, because the Great Recession was so impactful that some economic indicators and industry cycles have yet to return to a

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AKE’S TAKE: A Bumpy Landing for Class 8 Trucks

Class 8 truck orders for Q4 are down 46% versus last year. The market that looked so strong just a few months ago, has taken a pronounced downturn recently. Production rates are falling and OEMs are laying off thousands of workers. What is happening, and why is it happening now? Industry and

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AKE’S TAKE: The Commercial Vehicle Market Cycles Down the Hill

This economic recovery has most assuredly been slow and steady. Just look at GDP growth for the last 5 years: 2010 = 2.5% 2011 = 1.6% 2012 = 2.3% 2013 = 2.2% 2014 = 2.4% 2015 = 2.5% Only 90 basis points of spread over a six-year period. Of course there are fluctuations, but economic…

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Mixed Signals in the Truck and Trailer Markets

The economy continues to send mixed signals. You look at some indicators and things look good. However, other important indicators signal doom is right around the corner. It is a mixed-bag; it is mumbo-jumbo; it is a dog’s breakfast of economic proportions. And we see that contradiction when we

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