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BYLINE: Thomas L. Gallagher
Demand for surface transportation to move freight in the United States is due to soften in 2007, according to a report from Fitch Ratings in Chicago.
As the general U.S. economy slowed in the latter half of 2006, the trucking and rail sectors felt the impact. Forecasting trends for 2007, Fitch Ratings said that increasing interest rates, uncertainty in the housing sector and high gasoline prices have slowed consumer spending growth, leading to a weakening in the manufacturing sector, which reported a decline in activity in November.
Fitch forecasts real U.S. gross domestic product growth of 2.4 percent for next year. …