North American freight shipments continued to rise in April, although at a much lower rate than earlier in the year. This slowdown mirrors the slowdown in the economy. Expenditures for freight were up marginally. The number of new jobs created fell in April as the unemployment rate hit a one-year high. Hiring for manufacturing, which declined in March, stalled, while construction jobs also fell off. These are signs that businesses are holding off on hiring
because of the perceived weakness in the economy. Manufacturing declined in April and remains weak.
73-hour, seven-day workweek limit set by Senate panel for truck drivers
Truck drivers’ hours of service limits may be tweaked under a fiscal 2017 transportation funding bill passed by an influential Senate appropriations committee this spring.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, fell 0.9 percent in March from February, falling for the second consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The March 2016 index level (120.0) was 26.7 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
Slow to lackluster global trade themes were apparent in the most recent edition of the Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.
“With the March gain, the U.S. LEI’s six-month growth rate improved slightly but still points to slow, although not slowing, growth in the coming quarters,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “Rebounding stock prices were offset by a decline in housing permits, but nonetheless there were widespread gains among the leading indicators. Financial conditions, as well as expected improvements in manufacturing, should support a modest growth environment in 2016.”
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Job losses continued in mining.
International Trade & Supply Chain Cost Savings:
What’s Here, What’s Not and What’s on the Horizon
Please join MIQ Logistics and Husch Blackwell in Austin for an afternoon seminar focused on issues in U.S. international trade policy. This seminar will offer practical knowledge and insight into free trade agreements and legislation affecting the import and export of goods for U.S. companies, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the second consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 83rd consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business.