High Fuel Prices Draining Global Economy Says New Report

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The forecasts and business strategies of carriers and manufacturers of transport-oriented capital goods indicate the industry is bracing for an era of higher energy prices and increased regulations, according to 'Transportation Outlook', a study conducted by Forbes Insights on behalf of CIT Transportation Finance.

“This study highlights the fact that transportation executives are preparing for a future of uncertainty, both in terms of fuel prices and regulations,” said Jeff Knittel , President of CIT Transportation Finance . “In doing so, they are implementing strategic business plans in response to the potential for a protracted era of higher energy costs and growing concern regarding current and proposed emissions regulations.”

Key findings:

  • Fuel prices and rising energy costs are impacting the global economy: More than eight out of 10 (81%) executives say uncertainty surrounding energy policies is hampering global economic recovery. Eighty percent say that today’s higher fuel costs are reducing global economic growth. Transportation executives believe the global economy is poised for a protracted period of increasing energy costs. More than six out of 10 (63%) believe prices will increase over the next 18 months, 78% expect prices to increase over the next three years, and 69% believe prices will increase over the next five years – 38% say significantly.
  • Regulations from the United States, EU and other governments are hurting consumers: Sixty-six percent of respondents say government policies have driven energy prices higher. Efforts to combat perceived long-term climate change run counter to a near-term economic growth agenda. More than eight out of 10 (83%) agree that relatively high fuel prices are contributing to higher consumer costs, and 81% agree that higher fuel prices are impacting consumer spending in other categories.
  • Regulatory activism over emissions is cause for concern: Roughly three out of four (76%) transportation executives are concerned by current and proposed emission regulations, and 47% say that the state of emission regulation is contributing to higher energy costs – a figure that rises to 64% among trucking companies. Overall, 86% say such emission regulations are adding to operating costs. Moreover, 79% say regulatory actions are forcing their companies to increase spending on capital equipment.
  • Carriers and their customers forge strategic responses, as do manufacturers of transportation equipment: Nearly half(47%) of carriers say their customers are working more closely with third-party logistics groups to optimize transportation costs, and 35% say their customers are relocating production or warehousing for the same reason. Nonetheless, 31% say they see customers encountering financial duress as a result of energy costs, 81% say they are updating their fleets to be more energy efficient and 79% say they are doing more to promote their sector’s energy efficiency relative to other transportation modes.

Complimentary copies of the report can be downloaded at www.cit.com/TransportationOutlook

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