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Fed ‘Beige Book’ Says Decline is Slowing, Transportation Still Weak
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 00:00

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that almost all Federal Reserve districts are seeing the pace of economic recession slow down, but the transportation sector is still showing signs of weakness.

Freight transportation continues to remain below last year’s level in the Atlanta, Dallas and Cleveland districts, the Fed said in its latest beige book survey, which it issues eight times a year, surveying its 12 regional districts.

The Cleveland district reported that the transportation industry there is maintaining competitive shipping rates.

But in the Atlanta district, trucking companies said that an oversupply of trucks relative to low demand was pushing shipping rates down and making profit margins smaller.

In the Minneapolis district, a trucking company with 200 employees said it would close in August.

Suppliers also continue to suffer, with truck manufacturers in the Chicago district continuing to report weak activity. In the St. Louis district, small cars are selling relatively well, but the market for large trucks remains small.

The report, prepared by the Boston Fed, was based on information collected from June 2 through July 20.

Transport Topics, 7/29/2009