Features

Chart of the week: US road haulage index defies the gloom-mongers

Transportation data is a helpful leading indicator, and according to America's For-Hire Truck Tonnage index, there is no sign of a dip in demand for road freight.

941_COTW-road-haulage-trucking

There has never been a recession in America without a preceding slide in road haulage, as Jonathan Allum points out in The Blah.

Transportation data is a helpful leading indicator as goods always have to be taken somewhere before being assembled or sold. The good news is that according to the For-Hire Truck Tonnage index, there is no sign of a dip in demand.

Other recent data has also defied the gloomsters, says a Gavekal Research note. The Atlanta branch of the US Federal Reserve has nudged its first-quarter GDP growth estimate up to 2.1%; manufacturing data and mortgage applications also indicate "a steadying of the ship". A "newly dovish" central bank should also boost investors' confidence.

Viewpoint

Robert Colvile, City A.M.

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