Today, the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics released July's Freight Transportation Services Index; it's up 1.6% from June.
Doesn't seem like much? Keep in mind that this is the first monthly rise since February and the largest increase since January 2008. And because the Freight TSI was level from May to June, this means 2 months in a row without a decline.
Freight shipping is increasing, and someone is buying that freight. Whether it's consumers buying goods or manufacturers buying parts or other companies buying supplies, we're talking about economic activity. The rise in the freight index for the first time since February is a sign that the economic recovery is beginning.
Between the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the CARS--cash for clunkers--program, and other actions the Obama Administration has taken, I am hopeful that the economy is starting to turn around.
However, despite this tangible sign of progress, we all know that we still have a long way to go. At DOT, we will redouble our efforts to make sure that transportation projects continue to stimulate a reviving economy and that transportation infrastructure renewal facilitates a thriving 21st century economy.
I hope we can all greet this news as grounds for cautious optimism.