Monday, January 25, 2010

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increases in December

by Bill McBride on 1/25/2010 11:11:00 PM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 2.1 Percent in December

Truck Tonnage Click on graph for slightly larger image in new window.

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index climbed 2.1 percent in December, following a 2.6 percent increase in November. The latest gain boosted the SA index from 106.2 (2000=100) in November to 108.4 in December, its highest level since November 2008.
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ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that while tonnage jumped again on a month-to-month basis, the rate of increase may slow in the coming months. “The robust tonnage numbers in November and December were aided by better economic growth as well as a positive inventory effect,” Costello noted. “However, economic activity is expected to moderate in the current quarter, which will keep a lid on tonnage growth.”
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Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing nearly 69 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.
As ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello noted, trucking benefited from the inventory correction, however he believes that is nearing completion.