Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ATA Trucking index decreased 1.3% in July

by Bill McBride on 8/23/2011 06:20:00 PM

From ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 1.3% in July

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.3% in July after rising a revised 2.6% in June 2011. ... The latest pullback put the SA index at 114 (2000=100) in July, down from the June level of 115.5.
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Compared with July 2010, SA tonnage was up 3.9%. In June, the tonnage index was 6.5% above a year earlier.
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“We had heard that freight weakened from a robust June, that that was true,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Tonnage has fallen in three of the last four months on a sequential basis.

“Despite a solid June, our truck tonnage index fits with an economy that is growing very slowly,” Costello noted.
Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

Here is a long term graph that shows ATA's Fore-Hire Truck Tonnage index.

The dashed line is the current level of the index. From ATA:
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 67.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9 billion tons of freight in 2010. Motor carriers collected $563.4 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
When the June index was released it was already obvious that July would be weak based on comments from UPS and others. August will probably show a decline too.