FAST FIVE: Cass Freight Index Contracts 8th Month, Predicts Negative GDP By Q3/Q4
The weakness in spot market pricing for many transportation services, especially trucking, is consistent with the negative Cass Shipments Index and, along with airfreight and railroad volume data, strengthens our concerns about the economy and the risk of ongoing trade policy disputes. Weakness in commodity prices, and the decline in interest rates, have joined the chorus of signals calling for an economic contraction.
Unfortunately, since then, volumes have started to further deteriorate.
Although the European data is by itself distressing, it's the Asian data that has become the most alarming.
Hence, in markets such as Shanghai, the inbound volumes predict the outbound volumes and the strength of the high-tech manufacturing economy.
Historically, lead time is zero on a quarterly manufacturing basis.