Inventories Hold Steady
The ratio of inventories to sales in the economy remained 1.27 in November – the fourth straight month in which the ratio held steady at this lean level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The inventories-to-sales ratio is barely higher than the all-time low of 1.25 in March. Continuation of lean inventories relative to sales suggests sound inventory management by the supply chain. At least in the near term, trucking companies generally can expect normal shipment levels.
Trailer and container loads for U.S. railroads were up 5.4% in 2011 over 2010. Rail carloads were up 9.7%.
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The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.3% in November from October.
Housing starts rose 3.4% in 2011 over 2010, although the 606,900 starts in 2011 were well below the 1.5 million average since the U.S. Census Bureau began keeping records in 1959. Permits authorized for privately owned housing units were up 1.2%.
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index increased 0.2% in December on a seasonally and workday adjusted basis following a 1.0% increase in November.
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