Friday, June 25, 2010

ATA Truck Tonnage Index declines in May

by Bill McBride on 6/25/2010 12:59:00 PM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.6 Percent in May

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.6 percent in May, which was the first month-to-month drop since February of this year. This followed an upwardly revised 1 percent increase in April. The latest reduction put the SA index at 109.6 (2000=100).
...
Compared with May 2009, SA tonnage increased 7.2 percent, which was the sixth consecutive year-over-year gain. In April, the year-over-year increase was 9.5 percent. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.2 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that truck freight tonnage is going to have ups and downs, but the trend continues in the right direction. “Despite the month-to-month drop in May, the trend line is still solid. There is no way that freight can increase every month, and we should expect periodic decreases. This doesn’t take away from the fact that freight volumes are quite good, especially considering the reduction in truck supply over the last couple of years.”
Truck Tonnage Index This graph from the ATA shows the Truck Tonnage Index since Jan 2006 (no larger image).

This index has only shown a gradual increase since December.

Rail traffic was also soft in May.