Bill Holter’s Commentary
And this was BEFORE the coronavirus…
Largest Shipping Decline Since 2009 and That’s Before Coronavirus
February 18, 2020
The January Cass Freight Shipping Index is more bad news for the global economy.
The Cass Freight Shipping Index is down 9.4% year-over-year, the largest decline since 2009. And this is for January, before the Coronavirus disruption.
The turn of the calendar didn’t leave the bad news in 2019, as the Cass Freight Index showed continued weakness in the U.S. freight market. Both the shipments and expenditures components of the Cass Freight Index worsened sequentially and showed decelerating y/y growth. According to the broader stock market levels, there is still optimism out there, but the freight trends have yet to turn. And the Covid-19 coronavirus case count continues to grow, creating uncertainty around containment and eventual impact on global supply chains. Some Chinese factories resumed operation this past week, but they are still not close to 100% production levels. Others have pushed re-opening back to March 1.