In this edition of “SONAR Indices & Insights,” the SONAR team will explain another index found within SONAR, the freight forecasting platform from FreightWaves. This week, learn how freight market participants are predicting shifts in the freight market that may occur with changes in retail sales trends using the SONAR index, Retail Sales with the ticker name of RESL. In this article, you learn what the RESL Index is, what it may tell various freight market participants, and what the RESL Index can do for each freight market participant.
Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70% of the U.S. economy, and we estimate 40%-45% of all freight consists of consumer-facing goods, so a healthy backdrop for retail sales is pivotal for rejuvenating a freight bull market. Therefore, as retail sales trends that show increases or decreases have an impact on the freight market, i.e. capacity and both contract and spot market rates, it is critical that all freight market participants, especially companies who are shippers in the consumer goods industries and the freight brokers who serve them, have an advantage when they utilize FreightWaves SONAR’s total inventory of available indices, particularly the Retail Sales (RESL) index.
The RESL index is a monthly measurement of retail sales trends provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and is an estimate that tracks purchases of durable and non-durable goods at the consumer level. This helps measure the demand for finished goods across a variety of categories such as department stores, furniture stores, electronics and more.
RESL, like many other SONAR indices, can be broken into a year-over-year chart to show growth in retail sales trends and seasonality. Use RESLG to use year-over-year breakouts per the screenshot below.
The retail sales trends data can be broken out into categories for a more granular understanding of performance in various retail sectors. This breakout allows for better comparisons for equipment types. Example: Retail sales for food and beverages (RESLG.FBEV) compared to reefer capacity (ROTRI.USA).
Retail Sales can be broken out into the following categories (Use RESLG. for year-over-year breakouts):
In turbulent times, freight market participants need certainty to stay ahead of the freight market and understand the freight demand occurring in each participant’s most important lanes, markets and shipping modes. The premier freight forecasting engine, FreightWaves SONAR, allows participants to benchmark, analyze, monitor and forecast freight demand and costs in addition to the impact on the freight market seen in retail sales trends data within the RESL index.
SONAR ensures more proactive responses to the market, provides correlations between several indices to guide decisions and helps to manage freight budgets or margins more proactively. Click the button below to get a demo of SONAR to see what the platform can do for you.