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Weekly Transportation Update: A Growing Economy Does Little For Freight Demand

Economic growth in Q4 does little to bolster freight demand.

  • Sluggish orders for durable manufactured goods were skewed upward by aircraft orders.
  • Real consumer spending falls for the second straight month as the savings rate rebounds.
  • Dry van and refrigerated spot rates have given back their holiday-period surge.
  • Rail carriers’ earnings reports share cautious outlooks.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Retail Sales Decline as Manufacturing Output Drops

Industrial and consumer indicators were quite weak in December. 

  •  Manufacturing output drops by the most in nearly two years. 
  •  Retail sales decline sharply in December after a  downward revision to November estimate. 
  •  Van segment rates again fall sharply in a typical cool-down from the holiday surge. 
  •  Intermodal and rail carload volumes rise week over week, but intermodal gains were weaker.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Falling Gas Prices Ease Consumer Spending

Consumer inflation continues cooling trend in December.

  • New orders for manufactured goods fell in November.
  • Wholesale inventories relative to sales return to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Truck spot rates see typical post-holiday moderation.
  • Intermodal is weak to start 2023; coal and grain bolster rail carload.
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