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Economic Update, January 17, 2013

Lucas Deal January 24, 2013
  • The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.8 percent in December after jumping an upwardly revised 3.9 percent in November. The back-to-back increases in November and December were by far the best of gains of 2012, ATA says.
  • Housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 — 12.1 percent above the revised November estimate of 851,000 and 36.9 percent above the December 2011 rate. That’s the highest level since June 2008. For all of 2012, housing starts were up 28.1 percent from 2011.
  • The national average retail diesel price increased by 0.8-cent to $3.902 a gallon during the week ended Jan. 21, ending a seven-week streak of decreases. The average price is 5.4 cents higher than the same week last year.
  • U.S. freight railroads’ carloads were down 3.5 percent for the week ended Jan. 19 compared to the same week last year. Intermodal traffic was up 13.5 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 5,000 during the week ended Jan. 19 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. The four-week moving average was 351,750, a decrease of 8,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

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

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