Recent Comments

Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

For retail sales, a tiny reversal

| February 13, 2009

The latest bit of bright news is Friday’s report that retail sales rose 1 percent in January over December. The Wall Street Journal says economists attribute the blip – following six consecutive months of falling retail sales – “to discounting and easier automobile-financing terms in January. Sales of cars, electronics and clothes all were up. Year-over-year, January retail sales decreased 9.7%.”

For a dose of reality, the weekly roundup from Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, has some bubble-busters:

  • The number of truckload loads contracted 9.1 percent from November and dropped a whopping 16.4 percent from December 2007.
  • Dry van and tank truck freight each plummeted 24.9 percent during the second half of 2008, only to be surpassed by flatbed freight, which plunged nearly 30 percent.
  • In December, total less-than-truckload shipments contracted 7.2 percent and 11.2 percent from November and December 2007, respectively.

 — Max Heine

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

Overdrive is covering MATS live all week Click here to see full coverage
Hello. Add your message here.