This c-suite synopsis of the transportation markets is provided to all of our Premium clients along with weekly transportation updates.
TRUCKING: A strengthening rate environment keeps trucking market conditions about the best ever.
RAILCAR: Several commodity groups came in lower than expected in June.
INTERMODAL: Congestion is spreading across the network.
SHIPPERS: Shipper's conditions mostly stalled at a highly negative environment.
The latest economic indicators generally were solid but not especially robust aside from the strong improvement in the labor market in June. Consumer indicators showed no gains, but it would be difficult to top the spending that occurred in March and April in the wake of the third round of stimulus. A good month for automotive output in May bolstered the industrial sector. Freight transportation volumes mostly were stable but at strong levels.
• The economy added a stronger-than-expected 850,000 payroll jobs, seasonally adjusted, in June. Employment remains 6.8 million jobs, or 4.4%, below February 2020.
• Consumer spending was flat in May, and retail sales were down 1.3%, but April consumption was the highest ever.
• Industrial production rose 0.8% and manufacturing rose 0.9% in May.
• Housing starts rose but home sales continued their slide in May as inventories tightened and prices rose.