The State of the Economy

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Trade Tensions Continue to Lurk in the Background

Welcome to FTR’s “Monday Morning Coffee “ blog. The following article is designed to keep busy executives up to date with the latest economic data releases. Released every Monday, this blog promises to keep our clientele updated with the latest weekly economic news and developments, highlighting its impact on the

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Trans4Cast – Economic Outlook: Stable Growth … with Risks

Recent webinars in the FTR State of Freight series have focused on the outcomes for economic growth in 2018, along with a discussion of some of the inherent risks. Overall, the consensus is that the economic outlook looks healthy for 2018. In addition to getting the valuable opinions of FTR’s Industry

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Trans4Cast – Industrial Activity on the Mend

At the beginning of November we got the ISM Manufacturing Index results for last month that showed that the strong manufacturing segment is continuing. In the middle of last month we got the official September Industrial Production results from the Federal Reserve. While August was notably negative, the September numbers

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Trans4Cast – Another Strong Showing for Manufacturers

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the September full report on manufacturers shipments, inventories and orders which is a reliable barometer on the health of the economy reporting the month to month change in new orders for manufactured goods. Strong Demand Overall, September orders came in at an

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AKE’S TAKE: Super Gridlock is Super Good for Business

A panelist at the recent FTR Transportation Conference reminded us that businesses like it when the government stays out of “their business.” He said companies were benefiting from the new “hands off” environment. He claimed this had improved business confidence, and, more importantly, business performance. We have seen these conditions

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Trans4Cast – Hurricanes: Production Impacts and The Recovery

Industrial Production figures for August came out on Friday and the topline news wasn’t positive. Nor should you have expected it to be. Hurricane Harvey shut down a major industrial center for nearly 2 weeks and had impacts that spread out both before and after it. That means that August

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Trans4Cast – Industrial Activity Points to a Mixed Picture

Spot market activity has certainly turned around over the last year. Contract markets are slowly adjusting as well. Can we keep the growth going if the industrial sector doesn’t show further improvement? Industrial Activity Points to a Mixed Picture The July report of Industrial Production put out by the

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AKE’S TAKE: Living in Boomtown?

Things appear to be booming: – 3% GDP growth in Q2. The word on the street turned out to be more reliable than the economists’ forecasts. – Unemployment rate of 4.4%. Economists set “full economic employment” at 4%, because it is estimated that at any time 4% of the labor force is in some form…

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AKE’S TAKE: Is Manufacturing Ready to Accelerate?

Earlier this year, there was a surge in business confidence in the manufacturing sector of the economy. There were forecasts and predictions of robust growth. However, at mid-year, there is limited evidence of a manufacturing revival and most economists are not factoring a big change into their Q3 and Q

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AKE’S TAKE: Step Right Up and Pick Your Favorite Economic Indicator

Pick an indicator, any indicator… Flatbed Freight I recently attended a conference for flatbed fleets owners. These small business owners are extremely bullish on flatbed freight in the second half of the year. Their rosy business outlook mirrors some of the small business confidence surveys that have been reported. This

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