This under-the-radar freight indicator is raising concerns that the US economy is slowing



Kate Rooney | CNBC


  • The Cass Freight Index, a broad measure of freight shipments, fell 3.2% year over year in April — even before the announcement of new tariffs on Mexico.
  • The April report outlined a “material and growing downside risk to the economic outlook.”
  • In notes to clients, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse warn of red flags in the transportation market that could signal trouble in the broader economy.

A slowdown in trucking and transportation is causing some on Wall Street to worry about an impending deceleration in the U.S. economy.

The Cass Freight Index, a broad measure of freight shipment activity, fell 3.2% in April from the previous year. That drop was before President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement last week of new tariffs on Mexico, suggesting growth was “slowing before the trade tensions re-escalated,” Morgan Stanley strategist Mike Wilson said in a note to clients Monday.


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