5 Key Quotes from UPS on the Freight Industry and the Economy - Seeking Alpha 1. The state of the overall economy It’s obvious to everyone in the business world that economic conditions in the U.S. continue to slow. Economists hold a bleaker outlook for the second half of this year and it was the case even three months ago. Soaring fuel prices, falling housing starts, increased unemployment, weaker consumer confidence -- all of this paints a picture of a faltering economy. While GDP and industrial production may bottom out in the second half of this year, recovery is expected to be a slow, drawn-out process. Predictions are that it will be 2009 before improvement in the economy becomes apparent.