Federal Reserve sees softening in transport demand

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The Federal Reserve Board reported that demand for transportation services was softening, but some regions reported no change. The board commented on trucking and transportation in its Beige Book, a report it produces eight times a year on the nation’s 12 regions. It summarizes business actions based on comments received in August from contacts outside the Federal Reserve.

Overall economic activity has continued to expand, with moderate activity reported in St. Louis and Kansas City. Cleveland, Chicago and Minneapolis say their economies were expanding at a modest rate. Boston and Atlanta reported mixed activity, while New York reported continued expansion. The Philadelphia, Richmond, Dallas and San Francisco economies continued to grow but at a slower pace.

Atlanta and Dallas say they had less transportation activity, while Cleveland and Chicago reported no change. Dallas rail, small parcel and intermodal companies reported small decreases in cargo volume in the past month. In Chicago, grain storage construction increased, but not enough to alleviate concerns about storage and transportation problems at harvest.

In St. Louis, transportation equipment companies plan to expand. In Boston, sales of transportation equipment other than automobiles grew at a robust pace. In Philadelphia, companies producing lumber, building materials and transportation equipment reported decreases.