Economic uncertainty remains one of the aftermarket’s biggest hindrances in preparing for 2016.

In November 2015, Kiplinger’s pegged expected 2016 GDP growth in the United States at 2.8 percent, while IMF was slightly more conservative at 2.4 percent.

Many in the aftermarket seem to agree. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of responders to Truck Parts & Service’s November survey expect 2016 sales within 2 percent of 2015 totals, with another 51.7 percent expecting only moderate growth (2-10 percent).

But confidence in those projections appears shaky at best. Interest rates, the upcoming election and the North American oil industry are among the issues cited by suppliers and distributors as unknowns that could change economic direction. The 2015 trend line is helpful but far from a sure thing, Truck Parts & Service survey responders say.

Says one survey respondent, “We can’t do anything to influence the overall economy. We will deal with whatever happens.”

To return to January’s Truck Parts & Service cover story on the state of the independent aftermarket, please CLICK HERE.

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