Consumer Confidence Drops From Nine-Month High

Consumer confidence fell in May from a nine-month high, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index. The index decreased to 81.8 from 84.1 in April. The median projection in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a gain to 84.5. Food prices have risen, and the cost of gasoline has held near its highest level of the year, making buyers less secure in their finances. “Higher energy prices, higher prices for gas, and the rising consumer food prices would be something I would look at as a factor holding back confidence gains,” said Robert Rosener, an economist at Credit Agricole. “We’re watching these numbers closely to see what the household read is, whether they’re feeling the benefit of an improving labor market.” By Bloomberg...

Container Traffic Rises at Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach

Container traffic at the Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach posted solid gains in April from a year ago. Los Angeles’ total volume of 20-foot equivalent units increased 10.3% to 706,036 from the same time last year, marking the port’s busiest month since September. Long Beach’s rose 9.7% year-over-year to 569,843 TEUs. Loaded imports at Los Angeles increased 11.4% in April to 537,071 TEUs. Exports increased to 172,945 units, an 8% gain. At the Port of Long Beach, imports increased 11.9% to 295,712, and exports were up by 6.3%, to 146,498 units. The sister facilities, which compose the largest U.S. port complex, are covered under a labor agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and Pacific Maritime Association. That deal is set to expire June 30, and negotiations have begun on a new contract. By Transport...

Intermodal Rail Traffic Rises 7.7% for Week

U.S. rail intermodal traffic increased 7.7% in the week ended May 10 compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads reported. Railroads moved 267,283 intermodal trailers and containers that week, AAR said May 15 in its weekly report. Rail carload volume, which excludes intermodal units, increased 5.6% year-over-year to 296,813 carloads. Seven of the 10 commodity groups that AAR tracks increased over last year, led by grain at 29.7%. Chemicals led the decline with a 2.2% drop. For the first 19 weeks of the year, intermodal volume has increased 5.4% from the same period last year to 4,786,458 units. Year-to-date, intermodal volume for all of North America increased 5.2% to 6 million trailers and containers. By Transport...