Economic Data and Dealerships
Our new guest writer Andy Fanter joins us at Learning Without Scars with his inaugural blog post: Economic Data and Dealerships. Andy Fanter started Intercast in 1994. The company is a division of Cyclcast, created in 1978 by Dick Fanter. Dick retired in 2019. Andy currently forecasts for over thirty dealers across the US. In his free time, Andy enjoys the stock market and fishing.
In the world of motivational speakers and team builders—the economic data is still important for the construction machinery dealer. I am not a fan of GDP; I rarely discuss it. Employment data lags too much—anything in the fours or lower is good. National retail sales (consumer spending) there is a favorite. Never underestimate the US consumer because we are stupid. Single family housing permits are another great indicator to follow. The current economy is something some of us can remember from long ago: the 1980s. People want stuff now whether it is a home, car, vacation, fishing pole, golf club, shirt, restaurant meal.
The smart phone was great for controlling inflation after the GFC of 2008/2009. Now the smart phone is used to find an item—forget price, who has the item in stock, where is an empty airline seat, 20-ton excavator, car in the color in I want.
The infrastructure dollars are flowing and so are the EV plants and CHIP plants. Not everything is equal in this economy. In the north, Ohio and Indiana are doing well—but this boom is concentrated in the south. From Arizona over to Virginia and down to Florida—that zone is ripping! Texas and Florida account for 30% of the construction activity in the US. There is your competition—not another dealer but losing people and machines to two rapidly growing states.
Everyone is waiting around the Federal Reserve to cut rates: you might be waiting a long time, years. Inflation will slowly drift down into the twos, but the Federal Reserve will likely stay around 5% on Fed Fund Rates. There are not enough single-family homes, 2 to 4 million shorts. Lower mortgage rates would heat up the housing market again. Unemployment is under four, so it is tough to find more labor for homes and nonresidential side of construction in double digit growths. The stock market is having a hot start to 2023. Low rates for a decade caused too many problems.
15 Lois Ln
Marion, KS 66861
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