As the economic landscape unravels, the latest data reveals a deeply troubling picture. U.S. delinquencies, surging through Q3 and surpassing pandemic highs, are on a trajectory to eclipse the ominous figures of the 2008 financial crisis. A stark divergence in the chart signals a decisive downturn in the sales cycle, a clear marker of an impending recession, while companies capitalize on falling raw material costs to drive margins ever higher – a phenomenon aptly dubbed Greedflation.
The repercussions reverberate in the logistics sector, where layoffs and bankruptcies accumulate amid a shocking downturn. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) paints a grim narrative, declining for the 19th consecutive month in October. This protracted decline, exceeded only in the harrowing periods of the 2008 and 1974 recessions, underscores the severity of the current crisis. As economic indicators echo the past, the nation grapples with a multifaceted downturn, raising alarms and painting a bleak outlook for the immediate future.
U.S. delinquencies ($) through Q3, updated yesterday. Just breached the pandemic high on the way to vastly eclipsing 2008.
It's over. pic.twitter.com/St4i3dvdbF
— Mac10 (@SuburbanDrone) November 21, 2023
The unusual divergence in the chart tells me that that the sales cycle has decisively turned downwards in the last quarter (aka recession) but that companies have used the cover of rapidly falling raw material input costs to boost margins even further – aka Greedflation. pic.twitter.com/1scs0Fswuh
— Albert Edwards (@albertedwards99) November 21, 2023
In those years, the freight transportation market has enjoyed prosperous times and periods of pain and misery. The freight market undergoes boom-and-bust cycles, like all commoditized industries.
FreightWaves SONAR correctly predicted the start of a drop in the freight market in March 2022. Since then, the overcapacity spurred by the pandemic has caused freight-hauling rates to drop to 2019 levels — or worse. For the past 18-plus months, there have simply been too many trucks for too little freight.
However, the impact has gone beyond U.S. trucking fleets and freight brokerages. The problems are not confined to the United States or just trucking. Ocean carriers, railroads, air cargo carriers and freight forwarders around the world have been impacted as well.
No one at FreightWaves enjoys reporting bad news. One of my followers on X recently commented, “Everything you post/repost or talk about is doom and gloom. I challenge you to say/find something positive about the economy pertaining to the trucking industry.”
The Conference Board LEI declined in October for the 19th consecutive month. This 19-month streak was only exceeded in the 2008 recession period and 1974 recession period."@EPBResearch pic.twitter.com/dBPI6elMkJ
— Daily Chartbook (@dailychartbook) November 21, 2023