Monday, October 6, 2008

NBER to add FedEx traffic as economic indicator

Just kidding, but here is a reponse in Fortune Magazine's Q&A with Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx:

What do you view as the most insightful metrics within FedEx that reflect macroeconomic activity? What are they showing? - David Johnson, Denver
“There's one overriding metric that we follow every day, which is a pretty good surrogate for the goods-producing side of the economy, and that's our traffic levels. We have a referendum every day with millions and millions of shippers that reflects enormous numbers of discrete transactions of buyers and sellers. We have a lot of other gauges on our dashboard: GDP, price of fuel, overall trade stats, etc. They're showing pretty clearly that the economies of the industrialized world are slow, and that the emerging economies, like China and India and the intra-Asia trade, all continue to grow at pretty good levels but at substantially lower growth rates than was the case a few months or years ago.”
RW: I am wondering if the National Bureau of Economic Research – the non-profit organization responsible for dating recessions – has added FedEx traffic levels to their key economic indicators.

Rebecca Wilder

1 comment:

  1. Consider this: If we cannot specifically date a recession until 2-3 years after if happens, why do we need to do it? FEDEX is as good as anything considering the press only does the 2-quarters-down-and-you're-out dance.

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