Business

As scrapers in Longmont go, so goes the economy

What does a heavy equipment auction say about the U.S. economy? Plenty, according to a report by Colorado Public Radio producer Zachary Barr that's airing on National Public Radio stations across the country today. At the event, which took place in Longmont, there were more sellers than buyers, with an especially large supply of scrapers like the one pictured above in stock. The much-higher-than-usual number of these earth-moving vehicles being sold, sometimes for a third the price they'd command in a better market, don't provide a foolproof economic barometer. But they suggest that the sort of big jobs for which they're designed are a rarity right now, and their owners doubt this situation will change anytime soon.

As discussed in this space previously, Colorado Public Radio stories seldom go national, despite the fact that the service is by far the state's largest. Indeed, NPR tends to run more packages by Denver-based correspondents like Jeff Brady or ones from stations such as Greeley's KUNC than it picks up from CPR. Barr's fine offering today proves that doesn't need to be the case. Listen to his report by clicking here.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts