Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ATA Trucking Index increases in March

by Bill McBride on 4/27/2010 07:09:00 PM

It was a busy day with the Goldman Sachs testimony, Greece and Portugal downgrades, and the "mixed" Case-Shiller House Prices for February. Here is something more upbeat ...

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.4 Percent in March
Truck Tonnage

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.4 percent in March, following a revised 0.3 percent decrease in February. The latest improvement put the SA index at 109.2 (2000=100), which is the highest level since November 2008. ...

Compared with March 2009, SA tonnage jumped 7.5 percent, which was the fourth consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest increase since January 2005. ...

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that he is getting more optimistic about the motor carrier industry’s recovery. “Freight is moving in the right direction and I continue to hear from motor carriers that both the demand and supply situations are steadily improving.” Costello attributed the first-quarter improvement in tonnage to the growing economy and to a slight inventory build after some sectors slashed inventories by too much in 2009. Costello added: “For most fleets, freight volumes feel better than reported tonnage because the supply situation, particularly in the truckload sector, is turning quickly.”
Trucking is a coincident indicator for the economy, and this suggests a solid March after the dip in February.