April 16, 2014 5:00 PM, EDT
Economy Continues to Expand Modestly, Fed Says
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

The economy continued to expand modestly from late February to early April in most of the country, and transportation generally strengthened in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve said.

The rise in the transportation sector was led by higher port volumes and increased trucking. In districts where transportation was soft, the outlook still was optimistic, the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report released April 16.

In Richmond, Va., an executive at a national freight trucking firm said shipments have increased markedly in recent weeks, partly due to “catching up” after harsh winter weather kept many trucks from delivering goods. The district also reported container volume through ports continued to grow briskly despite weather disruptions.

In Atlanta, trucking companies reported strong freight volumes and increases in tonnage after a large decline in January due to the weather. Atlanta ports cited increased shipments of bulk agricultural commodities and record container volumes. In addition, intermodal traffic rose modestly, according to the Fed.

Transportation firms in Kansas City saw slower growth in March but expected moderate growth over the next six months.

Dallas reported transportation service firms had mixed demand as container and intermodal cargo decreased, according to the Fed.

The Fed releases its Beige Book report eight times a year. Wednesday’s report, which covered Feb. 24-April 7, was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.