Activity sparks hope for Central Pa. businesses
-Central Penn Business Journal Staff
Worse-than-expected unemployment numbers, coupled with weaker manufacturing figures, clouded the national economic outlook yet again last week, while numbers for Pennsylvania and the midstate continue strong in comparison. For a business wanting to plan long term, it’s difficult to know what to think.
But in one area regionally, better numbers may point the way to a national, positive trend. As the Business Journal reports in this issue’s Inside Business section on distribution and shipping, two industries show signs of vigor after a notable slow period.
First, speculative warehouse construction is back on the drawing boards. While still just a trickle, the projects are the first in Central Pennsylvania since 2008 and represent a welcome sign of optimism amid the generalized uncertainty regarding a recovery. Accompanying the new building is an increase in sales and acquisitions in the midstate warehouse real estate market over the past year.
Hand in glove with the warehouse activity is rail freight — which also is up. Both Norfolk Southern, which has a significant midstate presence, and its competitor, CSX, are experiencing higher revenue. In particular, intermodal volumes — or containerized shipping — are up in Central Pennsylvania.
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Courtesy of the Central Penn Business Journal.