FedEx just released its fiscal first quarter financial results.

Earnings per share climbed to $1.53, up from $1.45 a year ago.

This was stronger than the $1.50 expected by analysts.

Freight shipping revenue climbed 2% while ground shipping revenue jumped 11%.

“Growth in overall demand for our broad global portfolio of solutions drove our improved first quarter results,” said CEO Fred Smith.

As player with footholds around the world, FedEx is considered an important bellwether of the global economy.

Management reaffirmed its expectation that full-year earnings would grow by 7% to 13%.

This assumes U.S. GDP growth of 2.1% and global GDP growth of 2.6%.

“We remain confident in our full year earnings outlook despite tepid global economic growth," said CFO Alan Graf.

"FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services effective January 6, 2014," said management. "The FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost pricing changes for 2014 will be announced later this year. FedEx Freight implemented a 4.5% general rate increase on July 1, 2013. "

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