Transportation TIP List: Week of March 31st, 2019
With the spring season officially kicked off, we’re hoping that beautiful summer weather is soon to follow! Picked directly from the headlines, this week’s TIP List includes industry indicators for you to spring into, including indexes and reports that are helping to forecast the future of the transportation landscape. Find out what trends are blooming below.
- Manufacturing Activity Rebounds in March, Construction Spending Hits 9-month High in February: The Institute for Supply Management recently announced its index of national factory activity rose to 55.3 from 54.2 in February, which had marked the lowest level since November 2016. The reading was slightly above expectations of 54.5.
- Lower Rail Volumes Indicate Sluggish Demand but Not a Recession: For the week ending on March 23, total U.S. rail volumes were 1.5% lower than the same period a year ago, at 6.12 million units, according to the AAR. For these rail volumes, U.S. carloads are 2.5% lower, at 2.95 million units, while intermodal units are 0.6% lower, at 3.21 million units.
- U.S. Trade Gap Narrowed Sharply in January: The trade deficit in goods and services shrank 15% from December to a seasonally adjusted $51.15 billion in January, according to the Commerce Department – considerably smaller than the $57 billion deficit forecast by economists.
- FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) Shows Continued Growth: For January, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI came in at 1.4, down from December’s 1.8, which marked the highest SCI reading in more than two years, going back to August 2016.
- Shippers Flock to Trucking Spot Market Amid Midwest Floods: Existing flood waters were recently met with even more rain in Nebraska, causing the levy systems in the area to “remain compromised.” Due to the floods, trucking arteries I-29 and I-680 in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska have been closed for a week, but some are starting to reopen.
What trends are you anticipating during Q2 of 2019?