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U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index Measures State of Shipping
USAgNet - 10/24/2017

U.S. Bank has launched a new barometer for assessing the nation's shipping industry. The U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index measures quantitative changes in shipment and spend activity, based on data from transactions processed through U.S. Bank Freight Payment. These transactions are made on behalf of clients across a range of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, food and retail. Published quarterly, the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index includes regional and national breakdowns along with expert commentary from Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

An 8.3 percent jump in the U.S. Bank National Spend Index, the largest quarterly gain since the final quarter in 2014, reflects a tighter truck market, in part from increased vehicle demand in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The U.S. Bank National Shipment Index increased 3.3 percent, which was slower than the 5.8 percent surge in the second quarter, but still solid, considering the impacts from the hurricanes.

One of the most important developments for the transportation sector has been the acceleration in factory output as the U.S. dollar retreated from high levels and businesses began reinvesting in capital equipment.

A unique feature of the index is that it breaks the data down into five U.S. regions -- West, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast -- based on the state of origin for a shipment. "Freight shipments are generally not uniform across the country," said Costello. "That's what makes the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index so useful. It is regional and gives a good snapshot into the differences in economic climate from one end of the country to the other."

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