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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. adds 272,000 payroll jobs in May; unemployment ticks up

In May, the U.S. economy showed mixed signals. It added 272,000 payroll jobs, but job openings hit their lowest since February 2021. Manufacturing weakened, as seen in the ISM index. On the positive side, real international trade in goods rose in April, and mortgage rates dipped below 7%. Diesel prices fell for the eighth week, while for-hire trucking lost 5,400 jobs despite increased CDL hiring. Truck spot rates stayed stable, and the rail sector saw growth in most carload commodities and year-over-year intermodal growth..

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Weekly Transportation Update: Real consumer spending on goods falls in April

Consumer spending in April experienced a decline, primarily driven by reduced expenditures on goods. This coincided with a slight downward revision in Q1 GDP growth. Despite the dip in consumer spending, retail inventories saw an increase in April. Meanwhile, mortgage rates have edged back above 7%, and diesel prices have dropped to their lowest levels since July 2023. Additionally, the population of for-hire carriers saw a minor decrease in May.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Sales of new and existing homes decline in April

Sales of both new and existing homes declined in April versus March, but the difference in y/y performance was notable as the steady declines in existing-home sales during 2023 and increases in new-home sales in early 2023 have largely ended.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Industrial production and retail sales were flat in April versus March

In April, manufacturing output experienced a decline, while nominal retail and food service sales remained flat. There was a slight recovery in housing starts during the same period. Mortgage rates decreased for the second consecutive week, while consumer pricing was supported by shelter and gasoline costs. Producer-level pricing saw an increase in April, despite diesel prices falling for the fifth consecutive week. Truck spot rates eased as Roadcheck approached, and rail traffic remained robust except for coal shipments. A Canadian rail strike was postponed pending investigation, and Robert Primus was appointed as the STB chairman.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Wholesale sector sales decline more than inventories in March

In March, economic indicators presented a mixed outlook. Wholesale sales dropped more sharply than inventories, possibly indicating oversupply or reduced demand. Both real exports and imports of goods declined, likely influenced by global trade dynamics and supply chain disruptions. New jobless benefits claims surged, reflecting ongoing labor market challenges. However, mortgage rates fell for the first time in six weeks, potentially boosting home buying. Diesel prices continued their decline, aiding transportation-dependent industries, while refrigerated truck spot rates surged due to increased demand for cold chain logistics. CDL hiring rebounded from a December lull. Despite challenges, total rail traffic increased year-on-year, suggesting resilience in transportation. These varied trends underscore the complexity of today's economic landscape.

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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. economy adds 175,000 payroll jobs in April

In April, the US added 175,000 payroll jobs, indicating modest employment growth despite a slight uptick in the unemployment rate. The ISM's manufacturing index contracted, while mortgage rates continued to rise, posing challenges for homebuyers. Diesel prices fell slightly, providing relief for transportation industries. Trucking jobs remained stable, but for-hire carrier numbers declined. Truck spot rates showed mixed trends, and Teamsters Canada authorized a rail strike, potentially impacting regional logistics. These events depict a complex economic landscape with both positive and challenging aspects across sectors.

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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. economic growth slowed in Q1, but strong goods imports were a factor

In the first quarter, the GDP saw a notable uptick, rising by 1.6% annually. March witnessed a surge in real spending on goods, while the personal savings rate hit its lowest point since October 2022. Retail inventories have slimmed down, indicating increased efficiency in supply chains. Moreover, there's a slight increase in nominal core capital goods orders, suggesting ongoing economic activity. In the housing sector, March saw a sharp rise in new home sales, signaling potential growth in the real estate market.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Automotive production was quite strong in March

In March, there was a notable increase in manufacturing output, with automotive production nearing a record high. Nonstore retail led the growth in retail sales, while there was a significant drop in housing starts during the same period.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Consumer inflation rose in March at the same rate as February

Consumer inflation is sticky in March. Prices in the supply chain saw a slight increase, but at a slower pace compared to February. Additionally, there's a concern over rising diesel prices for freight transportation.

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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. adds 303,000 payroll jobs in March as unemployment dips

This week saw a significant increase of 303,000 payroll jobs in the U.S. for March, with job openings remaining stable at 8.8 million. Additionally, diesel prices have dropped, and the ISM manufacturing index indicates expansion.

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