An index of U.S. domestic freight demand jumped 5.6 percent in January compared to the same month last year in a rebound from the deepest part of the shipping downturn.
But the closely watched Cass Freight Index also slipped on a month-to-month basis for the second month in a row, falling 2.2 percent from December to January, signaling a recovery in domestic shipping remains tepid even as international markets are surging.
January 2009 marked the low point for the index during this downturn, and one of the weakest readings in the Cass Index’s 20-year history. The measure reached its high point for 2009 in September and has fallen back about 7 percent since then.
The separate measure for freight spending grew 2.7 percent in January over January 2009, the first year-over-year expansion of that measure since August. 2008.
On a month-to-month basis, however, the expenditures index fell 4.3 percent for the second straight month.