For the 12 months ended May 2023, the annual inflation rate in the U.S. dropped to 4.0%, a positive sign following two years of rapidly rising costs. In June 2023, the Federal Reserve announced they would skip another rate increase while continuing to observe the economic trends across the country. Americans may be experiencing a slight relief in the prices of consumer goods, but interest rates remain high and the inflation rate is still well above the 2% target. In the spring, the financial world also experienced three high profile bank collapses, further impacting consumer confidence in the U.S. economy. With a cautious economic forecast, a decrease in consumer demand and workforce shortages, manufacturers have slowed production, focusing on reducing inventory levels to cover only their most immediate needs.
Like many other industries, operating costs in transportation have continued to climb, increasing 21.3% over the past year. With rising costs and an uncertain economic forecast, carriers and shippers remain cautious about the second half of the year. PGT understands the cyclical nature of the market, and we are focused on strengthening our long-term relationships with our customers, providing quality service, innovative solutions and reliable transportation.