A US recession looks more and more unavoidable as key parts of the economy slow to a crawl

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A US recession looks more and more unavoidable as key parts of the economy slow to a crawl
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Howdy, readers. Phil Rosen here, reporting from New York City.

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For many months now, I've been having conversations and writing about economic indicators that all point to a recession.

But it still hasn't officially happened yet, at least according to the secretive, little-known group that's responsible for declaring them. They've stayed mum even as the economy goes haywire.

In any case, there's a batch of signals in the American trucking industry that have been trying to warn us for months that there's trouble ahead — and plenty of turmoil that's already here.


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1. The US is in the midst of a "freight recession," meaning there's fewer trucks delivering goods around the country.

That slowdown, in turn, has dragged diesel prices down by almost half since last May, with the Wall Street Journal reporting wholesale diesel falling from $5.34 to $2.65.

The key industrial fuel, which is used to power machines and vehicles in countless sectors, began to dip first during the warmer-than-expected winter. Diminishing factory output and weaker demand for trucks has dragged prices down further.

The American Trucking Association's for-hire contract truck tonnage index dropped to its lowest level since August 2021, and domestic demand for diesel is down 8.4% since last year.

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All this, too, is showing up in transportation companies.

In a call last week, JB Hunt reported a bad earnings miss, and executives said a recovery for trucking looks uncertain.

"It's just a question of when and what position will we be in when our customers start ringing our phone again in ways that they have in the past," JB Hunt CEO John Roberts said.

Outside the trucking sector, the classic recession indicators are blaring, too:

  • The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index just dipped for the 12th consecutive month.
  • The New York Fed's Recession Probabilities Model puts the odds of a downturn at 57%, the highest mark since 1982.

What's your recession outlook? Has it already started? Tweet me (@philrosenn) or email me (prosen@insider.com) to let me know.

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In other news:

A US recession looks more and more unavoidable as key parts of the economy slow to a crawl
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

2. US stock futures rise early Wednesday, after both Alphabet and Microsoft beat analysts expectations for the last quarter. Here are the latest market moves.

3. On the docket: Boeing, Goldman Sachs, and more, all reporting.

4. This small-cap fund manager has beaten 90% of his peers over the last year. He shared five stocks that he's betting on right now — and he weeds out downside risk in a volatile area of the market.

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5. Goldman Sachs said de-dollarization attempts will remain contained and constrained for a long time. Threats to the greenback mostly hinge on lots of talk and not a lot of action, the bank's analysts told clients. Here's what to know.

6. Bullish signals are flashing that suggest the stock market is heading for a "summer rip," according to Bank of America. The S&P 500 could blow past its previous highs, strategists said, and potentially tack on another 5% in the coming months.

7. The GameStop saga is getting a movie. Seth Rogen has been cast as Wall Street Bets' most reviled hedge funder, and Paul Dano will play meme-stock hero Roaring Kitty. Get the details.

8. Meet a married couple that bought their first house by accident. Since their first property, they've built a $19 million, 47-unit portfolio over the last eight years. They broke down their approach to chasing the "bread and butter" of multi-family properties.

9. Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche teaches people how to get out of debt. She explained the four steps she took herself to pay down $35,000 of credit card debt in 2.5 years.

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A US recession looks more and more unavoidable as key parts of the economy slow to a crawl
Markets Insider

10. First Republic stock crashed 49% on Tuesday. Shares of the embattled bank dropped after it revealed its customers pulled over $100 billion worth of deposits last quarter. Look under the hood of its shocking first-quarter earnings report from Monday.


Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email prosen@insider.com.

Edited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.

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