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Economic Update, February 7, 2013

Lucas Deal February 8, 2013
  • For-hire trucking companies added 5,000 payroll jobs in January on a seasonally adjusted basis as the overall economy added 157,000 non-farm jobs, according to initial estimates. The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9 percent.
  • Manufacturing activity expanded in January for the second straight month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s composite index, PMI, which rose 2.9 points from December to 53.1 percent. The new orders index rose 3.6 points to 53.3 percent.
  • The national average retail diesel price jumped 9.5 cents to $4.022 a gallon during the week ended Feb. 4, topping $4 for the first time in two months. The average price is 16.6 cents higher than the same week last year.
  • U.S. freight railroads’ carloads were down 3.4 percent for the week ended Feb. 2 compared to the same week last year. Intermodal traffic was up 7.2 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 5,000 during the week ended Feb. 2 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000. The four-week moving average was 350,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s average.

More on these and other economic indicators is available by subscription at www.truckgauge.com.

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