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Transportation Services Show Upswing, Fed 'Beige Book' Report Says

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4/14/2011 8:15:00 AM

The U.S. economy showed improvement from mid-February through early April, and reports from transportation services firms were mostly positive, the Federal Reserve reported.

Business services, including freight-related activities, improved in most of the Fed’s 12 regional districts, it said in its latest “beige book� report, released Wednesday.

Contacts in the Cleveland, Richmond, and Atlanta districts reported an increase in freight transportation volume, notably for vehicles and construction materials.

Dallas received mixed reports, citing weaker international demand for intermodal transportation, while Atlanta area carriers reported increased air travel.

New York and Richmond cited a strengthening in freight trucking, and port activity rose in the Richmond and San Francisco districts, the report said.

One New York trucking industry contact said that while shipping activity has picked up steadily in recent months, firms are facing higher costs from rising energy prices and more stringent federal regulations.

The Fed releases its beige book report eight times a year. Wednesday’s report, which covered the period of Feb. 19 through April 3, was prepared by the Richmond, Va., Fed.

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