Trucking and shipping are the lifeblood of our economy, just as lard and cheap Christmas fudge are the lifeblood of Donald J. Trump.
When any of these slow or clot up, the patient is about to faint.
Well, look out, and grab onto your doubloons. As the Fed considers whether to begin cutting rates or hold serve, by one measure the economy already appears to be retracting faster than a neocon’s nads at a Vietnam-era draft board hearing.
Trucking rates and activity are down, according to the closely watched Cass Freight Index. Way down.
In fact, rates have been down for six consecutive months, and they dropped a redonkulous 62.6 percent in May, year over year.
This is, well, not good. And you can lay a big part of the blame at the pale, doughy feet of the orange abomination.
Bad weather was to blame for some of this year's trucking downturns, and experts have also pointed to increasing uncertainty with tariffs, as President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs of 25% on some $200 billion of goods from China. In February, international airfreight sank to a three-year low.
Meanwhile, many observers see the nosedive in trucking activity as a very ill omen:
A dip in truck orders, for example, is a sign that manufacturers and retailers anticipate that they'll be moving less stuff. That means they're planning on scaling back on producing, selling, and other business activities.
“Because trucking participates in all phases of manufacturing, it increases as manufacturing starts to ramp up, giving it leading indication on economic growth,” Steve Tam, the vice president at ACT Research, told Business Insider.
It would be foolish to predict a recession, because no one really knows when the next one will come. But with a certified idiot guiding the ship of state, it’s no wonder the gears appear to be seizing up.
And the longer he keeps deliberately hitting icebergs because he thinks he knows better than all the world’s non-iceberg-hitters, the sooner our economy is likely to sink.
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