One Measure of the US Economy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I had occasion to view a couple of Cass Trucking Index graphs, both for shipments (the physical volume) and for expenditures. Interestingly, the number of shipments in 2015 is almost dead flat compared to 1999.

Since US population has increased by over 15% during that time, from 279 Million to 322 Million today, I would have expected a similar rise in shipments.

Cass Freight Index Shipments 123115

Of course, 1999 was before the Bubble burst, while today we have anything but a robust Economy. Even so, with our political leaders trumpeting all the strides they have made to get the Economy back on the right track, dead even compared to 15% higher betrays an Economy that still is worse off than 16 years ago.

Continue reading

Advertisements

US Trucking Diesel Use Down, GDP Up – What Gives?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I’ve excerpted an article below, showing that, while the US Economy nominally grew from a GDP of $13.8 Trillion to $17.4 Trillion, the US Trucking Industry diesel consumption fell from 4.3 million barrels per day to 3.8 million barrels from 2007 to 2014, and it had nothing to do with gas mileage.

For GDP to have grown 26%, while trucking fell over 10%, seems to be a big disconnect to me. All else being equal (never) it would appear that GDP growth was all due to 4.5% inflation above what the government number crunchers are telling us.

As a secondary note, I see in the chart below that Trucking Fuel Efficiency fell off a cliff between 1965 and 1970 – from 7.8 to 5.5 miles per gallon. Does anybody out there know why?

Continue reading