Cass Freight Index drops in January

February 7, 2013


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Both shipment volume and total freight payments declined significantly from December to January, according to Cass Information Systems’ Cass Freight Index. Shipment volume has fallen in each of the last four months, mirroring the recent contraction in Gross Domestic Product, Cass says. The freight payment processing firm was referring to the 0.1% fourth-quarter GDP contraction, the first since the recession.

January shipment volumes fell off 4.8% from December and were 2.5% from January 2012, according to the index. It was the time since the recession period that January shipments were lower than January of the previous year. Among the factors holding down freight shipments are higher inventory levels and lagging sales, Cass says. Also, while the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing indexes showed that production was up 1% in January, supplier deliveries fell for the third straight month, inventories grew 8%, and the backlog of orders contracted for the 10th straight month. On the plus side, new orders were up 3.6%, Cass noted.

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