I don't know about you, but when I start looking at all the economic data and analysis produced in this country on a daily basis, my eyes start glazing over and my head begins to hurt. That's a snarky way of saying that it's hard to figure out in ENGLISH what shifts in housing starts or the consumer price index mean for the trucking industry.
That being said, here are the names of three economists you need to keep handy: Martin Regalia, Bob Costello, and Jim Meil. Regalia is the chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Costello serves in that same function for the American Trucking Association, while Meil is the chief economist for Eaton Corp.
These guys are superb at what they do, but more importantly, they make it all understandable in layman's terms -- even the very complicated stuff. That's why you see their names pop up on our web site and in our pages here at FleetOwner pretty often.
And all three have a talent for working humor into their presentations, so hearing them 'live' is actually better than reading the reports they produce.
Trucking executives and fleet managers will likely have more access to Meil and Costello simply because the bulk of Eaton's business is truck-related and Costello, of course, represents trucking's biggest lobbying organization. Regalia deals with U.S. business on a much broader scale, so he only tuns up occasionally at trucking functions.
While Costello is ostensibly the economist for truckers, bear in mind he's limited in many ways by anti-trust laws from giving a complete economic picture for trucking, especially when it comes to the impact economic tides and turns have on rates.
In any event, if you see any of their names pop up on the agenda of a convention or conference you plan to attend in the future, make sure you go hear what they say -- I promise you, you'll get very clear, concise, and useful picture of how overall economic trends impact your business.