Trucking, Transportation Activity Improved Late Last Year, Fed ‘Beige Book’ Report Says
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs
The U.S. economy improved late last year, with trucking and transportation services showing gains, the Federal Reserve said.
“Transportation services were generally positive among the six districts that reported,” the Fed said in its latest “beige book” report on U.S. economic conditions released Wednesday. The Fed has 12 districts.
The overall economy was boosted by stronger home and automobile sales in the reporting period from mid-November through early January, the Fed said.
Atlanta reported a “notable gain” in truck tonnage in November compared with October, with reports suggesting that Superstorm Sandy affected both months’ readings. Railroad carload traffic in the region also improved, the report said.
One large truck dealer in the region reported it was expanding sales to include flatbed trailers in response to anticipated increased movement of construction materials as a result of improvements in the housing sector.
The Cleveland district reported higher freight transport shipping volume due to rising demand from the retail sector, and the Dallas district reported mixed transportation-services readings, with most firms there expecting weak growth in the near-term, the Fed said.
Trucking firms in the Richmond district reported a flattening in revenues but the area’s port activity was boosted by ships diverted to the area from the Northeast by Superstorm Sandy.
The Fed releases its beige book eight times a year. Wednesday’s report, which covered Nov. 14 through Jan. 4, was prepared by the Philadelphia Fed.
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