The Cass Freight Index for U.S. shipments jumped to its highest level in more than three years in September, growing 7.5 percent over the same month a year ago and defying suggestions of a new downturn in the American economy.
The closely shipments index also advanced 5 percent from the August reading and the measure for freight expenditures soared 17.6 percent year-over-year to a four-month high.
By the Numbers: Cass Freight Index
That signaled retailers and manufacturers in the United States were scaling up efforts to get goods to customers in September and paying more to reach markets even as broad economic indicators raised new worries about a recession.
But the shipments grew 5 percent from August to September and the expenditures index also grew 4.6 percent month to month.
The 1.200 reading for the shipments index was the highest reading for that measure since November 2007, just before the freight index started showing a steady slide as the U.S. economy fell into its steepest downturn in 60 years.