ORLANDO, Florida — Could U.S. freight volumes rise and overall economic growth slow? If that increase in freight volume accompanies significant de-stocking of “bloated” inventories, the answer is yes, an economist said at the 2016 NASSTRAC Shippers Conference here.
Investment in private inventories contributes to the expansion of real GDP, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said in comments after a presentation to the conference. Cutting those business inventories pushes GDP down.
In 2014, inventory investment added 0.05 percentage points to annual GDP growth of 2.4 percent, Federal Reserve Bank data show. In 2015, that figure leaped to 0.17 points out of 2.4 percent growth. U.S. GDP growth would have been closer to 2.2 percent without the buildup.
GDP growth seems to have evaporated in the first quarter, after the economy expanded only 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s latest “GDPNow” estimate…
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