Fleet Management

Inventories Fall, Sales Up In July

September 17, 2001

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
U.S. businesses managed to cut their inventories for the sixth straight month in July, while sales posted another increase.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported this morning business inventories fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in July, following a 0.6% drop the month before, while business sales increased 0.4% in July after falling 1.5% in June.
Newport Communications Senior Economist Jim Haughey says this means that half the decline that was reported in industrial production during July was because businesses were selling out of inventory. However, he says, that still leaves some real decline in demand.
“There has been some weakening for exports as the rest of the world’s economy has slowed down in recent months,” Haughey says. “There has also been some nervousness and less spending by consumers. So as we start September we’re still in a spot where the economy is still on the bottom trying to get started up. We had a little bit of a start in August, but last week’s events may have put that on hold for a while.”
According to Haughey, the drop in inventories in July show, and August and September numbers will eventually show, that truck freight levels are pretty much flat. There are some bright spots in hauling automobiles and consumer packaged goods areas, but in the industrial hard goods and export areas it’s still fairly weak.
Haugey predicts that trucking companies that haul goods made by the manufacturing portion of the U.S. economy will still seek weak levels.
“It still looks like they will be on the upturn by the end of the year, but certainly not where they once were," Haughey says. "The key for them is inventories. The drop in July and others that I expect in August and September should put us at a point where production matches end-market consumption.”

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All