If the economy is limping along okay, then why are FedEx and UPS down so much?

It’s always interesting to watch reports about the broader economy and compare them to what’s happening to large corporations, like FedEx and UPS, that may more clearly indicate what’s really going on in the U.S. economy.

This week, people claiming unemployment insurance declined. Also, leading economic indicators were up for the second month in a row. Perhaps things aren’t so bad?

But, at the same time, FedEx reported its first quarterly loss in 11 years and reduced expectations going forward.

The stock of FedEx is down over 20% during the last year. UPS is down around 10%.

How can the economy seem to be motoring along when companies like UPS and FedEx seem to be doing poorly?

When given the choice between economic statistics (that get revised over and over again, and are heavily dependent on many shaky assumptions) and the performance of large corporations, I’ll take the performance of large corporations any day.

I think UPS and FedEx are indicating what’s happening in the economy better than broad economic statistics, and it isn’t pretty. Growth is slowing or declining, and you can see it in the volume and profits of the shippers.

In time, economic statistics will reflect this. In the meantime, I’m watching the major companies and what they’re saying is happening instead of focusing on the economists.

Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are subject to change without notice. Information throughout this blog has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed.