Skip to comments.FEDEX INDICATOR FLASHING YELLOW AGAIN
Posted on 06/20/2012 5:53:31 AM PDT by Hojczyk
One of my favorite indicators, mentioned here back in March, is the FedEx indicator, and it is flashing bright yellow right now. The package shipping business is a highly sensitive indicator of aggregate decisions across the economy. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal updated the FedEx indicator with the headline: FedEx Signals Economic Woe.
A glance at sales and income from previous downturns shows how sensitive FedEx is to economic growth. Not only is FedEx the kind of company that catches a cold when the world economy merely sneezes. It is also the type that gets the sniffles when the data still give the economy a clean bill of health. .
[F]reight trends suggest a clear slowdown in Europe and a nascent one in Asia [and] may even be accompanied by a braking in the domestic market. Analysts at Credit Suisse note that April freight volumes in the U.S. fell 11% from March; typically the month sees an about 4% decline.
UPDATE: Todays Journal offers this headline: Steelmakers Gird for a Downturn.
NEW YORKThe steel industry faces its worst prospects in four years, with prices and demand falling, prompting a call by industry executives to cut costs and shut unprofitable mills.
The gloomy outlook mostly reflects the European crisis and slowing construction in China. It represents a sharp contrast from earlier this year when, buoyed by the automotive and energy-extraction industries, steelmakers were able to push through price increases and step up production.
Im sure Obama-Biden will tell us that prosperity is just around the corner.
Interesting. It agrees with my personal, anecdotal favorite - truck traffic. I’ve been driving up and down I-95 for the last couple of months and there hasn’t been much truck traffic to speak of.
I, personally, don’t think the recession ever ended - despite what Bernanke and crew might say.
Here in the midwest, it didn't end.
Now if you go to Wash DC and NoVa, it never started.
The price of steel has been outrageous for years now.... this drives up the price of everything... but what is the real reason for the pricing?
Government regulation and interference...
Combine that with the tactics of the steel nazi’s....
I, personally, dont think the recession ever ended - despite what Bernanke and crew might say.
Same here, but I think it’s like saying the sun sets in the west. Only by playing with stats and the technical definition of “recession” can they make that claim.
It reminds me of a very good college term paper that was making the rounds back in 1972 where the writer makes a compelling case that white is black.
Hmmm. I got a quote on a 40x80 steel building last year. It was $32k. I passed. Wonder if it would be cheaper now...
(imho) if it (the recession) never started in this area (NoVa and D.C.), one would have to know stimulus dollars were utilized to create a grand illusion in the region of NoVa and D.C. What percent of the stimulus-es went into this region (NoVa and D.C.) to prop the region up? Was the bailout of NoVa and D.C. equal and on par with the Wall Street bailouts?
How about a link?
My back-of-the-envelope index is rail traffic—More specifically, freight car loadings.
Railroads carry everything from raw materials to finished products made from those materials, and traffic volume has been tepid, at best.
One of the few growth areas in traffic this year, at least in the Eastern US, has been coal shipments—for export.
There is never a recession in DC.
All this BS about the recession ending 3 years ago is only correct in the district.
As for the rest of the country, it grinds on.
The CSX indicator near my house is down significantly. The number of trains is down better than 60% since 2008. I used to get stopped at least once a day at the CSX crossing near my house, now it’s more like once a week.
Bailouts benefit a few and all Americans are placed on the hook to pay the money back. (imho) Bailouts are monetary distributions and redistribution of the assets of one group to another group. It does not work (bailouts imho) to benefit anyone except a small select group of individuals (the chosen winners) and the (pay the) tab goes to everyone else whom were unlucky enough to be in the same room when the (chosen winners) group ordered dinner. Perhaps this is not a proper analogy yet the _resident just stated W ate this steak and drank heavily and left him (zer0) the tab to pay. Should not the _resident and congress be as concerned as We the Taxpayers when he (zer0) and congress eat the steak and drink heavily along with the selected chosen few, and send US (taxpayers) the tab? To read (the views regarding a possible QE3) one gathers an answer of NO. It is necessary! When those desiring the money of others are allowed to write the reviews, those who will be fleeced of their money should be (use a strong word here). What good does writing ones opinion do ... when one is out opinioned by bigger opinions and money?
Now this does not happen at this site (FreeRepublic), but out there ... on the public stage of doomed opinions it is common. The balance is tilted, as all know the playing field tilts in the direction (normally) of the good guys. This is real life. One wins by going against the tilt.
“Now if you go to Wash DC and NoVa, it never started...”
the rest of the country doesn’t start to heal until they start to hurt...
Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of shipping traffic, is a similar indicator for the global economy. Haven’t kept up with it lately.
When we visited there in April, I told my wife it probably comes down to pitchforks and Molotov cocktails.
Or permanent enslavement.
One or the other.
Rural America, especially in the Midwest, is just getting HAMMERED by the Obama/Pelosi/Ried Depression.
I drove 300 miles of backroads yesterday, and drove through small towns without a SINGLE business left on Main Street, It looked like Downtown Gary without the guns in many places. Empty small factory after empty small factory. Repo signs all over the place.
Government is doing fine, and those connected to it are still making money, but small business is getting killed, and it will be a lot worse for them come January 1, 2013.
“The price of steel has been outrageous for years now.... this drives up the price of everything... but what is the real reason for the pricing? Government regulation and interference...”
Why do you think San Fransisco went to CHINA for the Bay Bridge Replacement??
and anyone with common sense knows, the scam is always protected by armed guards.
“My back-of-the-envelope index is rail trafficMore specifically, freight car loadings.... and traffic volume has been tepid, at best.”
Without huge demand for Fracking Sand, rail volume would be down, big-time!
My personal, anecdotal favorite is the price of scrap cardboard. It has gone from a high of $600 per ton down to $60 per ton. China used to be the main purchaser and it is used in packaging.
I watch container car loadings—the “double-stack” flats. Lately I’ve been seeing plenty of them moving empty or loaded with single containers only. Granted, some of them could be mere transfers between railroads...but still, moving an empty car isn’t a revenue-generating activity.
And on the whole, the level of rail traffic I see today is nowhere near what it was a few years ago.
Look for the Federal Department of Somethingorother to start FedExing massive numbers of empty boxes around the country between now and the election...
My self designed investment class prognosticator has me out of US stocks, foreign stocks and commodities. Only thing that is positive, and barely; is REITS (Real Estate trusts).
I check it on a weekly basis. It crashed big time in 2008-2009, had a dead cat bounce in 2010 and is now testing a 10-year low that might be the real norm - chart only goes back 10-12 years.
But a lot of the rise in transportation costs is being driven by unbelievable regulatory and tax costs: everything from skyrocketing vehicle taxes & registration costs plus the EPA's (or CARB) demands for refitting new diesel engines for trucks and hiking landing fees, driver 'rest' requirements pushing up labor costs, etc.
It's almost as though the government is deliberately trying to shut down as much economic activity as possible.
Where’s the link?