DOE diesel fuel data suspended.
One of the less obvious results of the partial U.S. government shutdown is that agencies are not releasing monthly data about the economy, such as the Labor Department's job growth report. The data is important for economists and businesses to understand where the economy is going during a sputtering recovery. And, now, with a month's hole in the data, it will be difficult to make month-to-month and annual comparisons for the job market, housing and other industry activity.
The Department of Energy, for example, is no longer supplying its weekly national fuel index.
Many trucking companies base their fuel invoices on the Energy Department's diesel fuel index.
"The lack of a DOE index is a major problem because many of these carriers have contractual agreements with their clients requiring them to use the DOE's index to determine fuel costs," Breakthrough Fuel Chief Executive Officer Craig Dickman said in a news release. "Without it, they can't bill for their services, which will hurt many companies that may not have the cash reserves to wait for payment."
Breakthrough®Fuel says it will provide carriers and shippers with a national retail diesel fuel cost average in lieu of the DOE fuel index. The fuel index can be found here
and will be published every Monday at 5 p.m. EST.
The energy advisory firm says its retail average is generated from thousands of locations compared to 400 locations nationwide in the DOE index.
Quip of the day.
Thomas Winkowski, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, spoke last month in Washington at the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America's Government Affairs Conference. After taking the podium, he observed that introductions for speakers get longer the older one gets.
And people can figure out how old you are when someone reads the biography back to 1975, he said.
Winkowski has worked at U.S. Customs for nearly four decades.
"It really came home to me one day when my assistant came in and said you need to go to Chicago and speak to the Customs Leadership Institute," he said.
The CLI is a group of future CBP leaders taking a management program at the University of Chicago.
"As I was getting prepared for it, they said it was a fireside chat. That's when you know you're really getting old. Sitting down to a fireplace like FDR.
"I brought my button-down sweater," he said.