“The upward trend in the US LEI seems to be gaining more momentum with another large increase in June pointing to continued strength in the economic outlook for the remainder of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director, Business Cycles and Growth Research, at The Conference Board. “Housing permits and the interest rate spread drove the latest gain in the LEI, while labor market indicators such as average workweek and initial claims remained unchanged.”
News / Industry News
American Trucking Associations’advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.5% in June, following a revised gain of 0.8% during May. In June, the index equaled 131.1 (2000=100). The all-time high of 135.8 was reached in January 2015.
June shipment volume and payments continued to move up, even as the economy overall has been weakening.
Like recent months, a combination of easing trucking-related market factors helped to drive down the most recent edition of the Trucking Conditions Index from freight transportation forecasting firm FTR.
A Senate bill would instruct the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a pilot study of lowering the age at which Class A CDL holders can drive trucks across state lines.
Department of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.8 percent in May from April, seasonally-adjusted, rising after one month of decline, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The May 2015 index level (122.7) was 29.6 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
It goes without saying that first quarter GDP output, at -0.2, was plagued by several things, including bad winter to begin the year…again, which dinted consumer spending to a certain extent, coupled with what the Department of Commerce said was a deceleration in personal consumption expenditures (see consumer spending reference above), sluggish demand, and a strong U.S. dollar, too.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 7.3 percent this month over the same time last year as retailers stock up for the busy back-to-school season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. The numbers reflect a job market moving close to full health and raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the unemployment rate dropped from 5.5 percent in May. The rate fell mostly because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed. For hire trucking added 7,400 jobs in June, bringing to 17,400 new jobs during the first half of the year.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.