The U.S. economy is faring a bit better than other geographic markets.
“Looking around the world in terms of other developed markets, growth is OK in the U.S. in terms of the overall economy,” Vickers said. “We've seen growth at 2.5 percent in the first three quarters, which is OK. It's not great, but we are growing.”
The oil and gas market has seen changes in the U.S. with a decrease in gasoline prices. “You see just the huge decline over the last 18 months,” he said. “The oil has gone from a pretty consistent $100 a barrel for the last five years, all the way down into the $40-50 range. And gasoline prices have followed as well.”
While this should be a positive for the U.S. economy because it is the biggest net importer of oil and the biggest consumer of oil, this has yet to be seen.
“The savings should be good for the economy,” he said. “We haven't seen it, that savings being spent by consumers yet. We think that over time, once they realize that gas prices are going to be low for a while ... they'll start to go out and spend that savings.”
Vickers referenced a few reasons why the U.S. is suffering economically. One, the 2009-15 growth period in the U.S. economy is “by far the weakest expansion in the last 50 years.”
He said there are a lot of reasons for that. First, the nation came out of the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression, and coming out of the downturn people started paying down debt and saving rather than going out and spending.
Second, there has been no “game-changing innovation that has spurred productivity,” such as PCs and the Internet did in the 1990s and 2000s.
Lastly, Vickers said demographics are changing and as the U.S. gets an older population, younger generations have to support that, which hurts growth.
“However, because growth has been so weak in this recovery, there's a good chance that this recovery will last longer than most recoveries,” he added.
Vickers noted some positives in the U.S. market.
“The light vehicle market in the U.S. is very strong,” he said.
In the last two months, the U.S. sold at an annual rate of 18.1 million cars and light trucks, nearing all-time highs. If this rate continues in 2016, it will hit all-time highs. However, he expects the market to peak at around a rate of 18 million to 19 million light vehicles a year.
“There (are) a lot of trends going on in the economy where cars are lasting longer,” Vickers said. “People are driving less, and there's a move more toward urbanization, which means you need fewer cars as well.”
U.S. employment has been a positive, adding 237,000 jobs in October. He said the U.S. has consistently added between 180,000 and 190,000 jobs monthly.