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Weekly Transportation Update: Consumer spending on goods falls sharply in January

Consumer spending on goods fells in January, while retail inventories saw small gains. This week saw a decline in diesel prices and slightly stronger carload and intermodal traffic.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Sales of existing homes on the rise

This week, economic data was limited, but there was a glimmer of strength in the housing market as existing home sales saw an increase. However, the recent rise in mortgage rates could potentially hinder further recovery. On the transportation front, diesel prices remained stable after a significant 21-cent spike last week.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Retail sales decline in January, but weather might have been a factor

The unusually severe winter weather in mid-January seems to have impacted key seasonally adjusted economic indicators. The Federal Reserve mentioned winter weather as a contributing factor in industrial production figures.

 

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Weekly Transportation Update: Wholesale inventories rise in December but so do sales

In a relatively quiet week, wholesale inventories held steady and sales increased. Real exports and imports rose in December. Mortgage rates have been stable for eight weeks.  Diesel prices rose for third time in four weeks. And rail traffic strengthened.  

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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. adds 353,000 payroll jobs, seasonally adjusted, in January

In January, the United States experienced significant growth in job opportunities, with data revisions revealing an even larger increase in December than initially reported. However, upon annual data revision, it became evident that employment in sectors associated with freight had weakened considerably compared to previous indications. Concurrently, there was a sharp decline in the number of active for-hire trucking companies.

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Weekly Transportation Update: The economy sees solid growth in Q4 as does the freight economy

In the final quarter of 2023, the economy continued its remarkable growth, and this positive trend extended to the freight transportation sector. However, it is important to note that the data pertaining to last week in the freight transportation industry was distorted by the severe winter weather that prevailed across the country. This weather condition led to substantial increases in truck spot rates and had a detrimental impact on rail and intermodal volumes.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Manufacturing output holds steady as automotive continues recovery

The economic indicators released this week presented a mixed picture. While retail sales showed some modest strength in December, industrial production remained stagnant. The housing market faced its own challenges, with declining housing starts and the lowest sales of existing homes since 1995. However, there was a glimmer of hope as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since May. Despite this positive development, the market will continue to grapple with tight inventories and high prices.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Consumer inflation ticks up in December but remains fairly cool

The principal economic data released this week showed stable pricing and inflation at the consumer and producer levels, although there were some discrepancies due to variations in gasoline and diesel prices in December. Freight transportation made headlines as the U.S. and allies targeted Houthi rebel positions in Yemen to protect commercial shipping from recent attacks.

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Weekly Transportation Update: Automotive sector rebound bolsters manufacturing output

Automotive sector rebound bolsters manufacturing output.

  • Retail sales see solid increase in November.
  • Falling fuel prices help keep consumer inflation cool.
  • Van spot rates ease in line with seasonal expectations.
  • Rail carload and intermodal begin their seasonal slide in volume.
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Weekly Transportation Update: U.S. adds 199,000 payroll jobs in November

U.S. adds 199,000 payroll jobs in November.

  • The unemployment rate falls to 3.7%; labor participation improves slightly.
  • Job openings in October were lowest since March 2021.
  • Dry van spot rates rise strongly for the second straight week.
  • Rail and intermodal volumes post strong gains following Thanksgiving.
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