Economic indicators remain mixed

| Friday, December 14, 2007

With fuel prices, the slump in the housing market and the credit crunch dragging the economy down, there was some good economic news this week. Retail sales in November increased twice as much as had been forecast.

Purchases of furniture, electronics, building materials and a lot of other things that are delivered by truck were up 1.2 percent, which marked their biggest gain in four months in addition to being double what the economists expected, according to Bloomberg reports.

Meanwhile, central banks in Europe and Canada announced they’ll pump billions of dollars into the global financial system in hopes of loosening up the tight credit market.

If that happens, it could spur new economic activity, something that’s always good for trucking.

However, an analyst with the respected Fitch Rating Service says the yearlong slump in demand for trucking services could last half way through 2008.

The Chicago Tribune quoted Stephan Brown as saying “there’s a lot of concern that this could be a prolonged downward period.”

Fitch is predicting that the nation’s overall economic growth next year will be slightly lower than it was this year.

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