Saturday, May 29, 2010

ATA Truck Tonnage index increases in April

by Bill McBride on 5/29/2010 08:49:00 AM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.9 Percent in April

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased for the sixth time in the last seven months, gaining another 0.9 percent in April. This followed a 0.4 percent increase in March. The latest improvement put the SA index at 110.2 (2000=100), which is the highest level since September 2008. Over the last seven months, the tonnage index grew a total of 6.5 percent.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 111.3 in April, down 4.4 percent from the previous month.

Compared with April 2009, SA tonnage surged 9.4 percent, which was the fifth consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest increase since January 2005. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6 percent compared with the same period in 2009.
...
Tonnage is being boosted by robust manufacturing output and stronger retail sales.” [ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said] “For most fleets, freight volumes feel better than reported tonnage because the supply situation, particularly in the truckload sector, is turning quickly.”
This is the opposite of the report from Ceridian-UCLA that showed diesel fuel consumption down in April, although it might be a difference in the seasonal adjustment factors (NSA this report showed a 4.4% decline). Rail traffic was also up in April.

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