by Bill McBride on 4/25/2012 09:33:00 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
From ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Up 0.2% in March
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.2% in March after increasing 0.5% in February. (February’s rise was unchanged from the preliminary gain we reported on March 27th.) The SA index stood at 119.5 (2000=100), up from 119.3 in February. Compared with March 2011, the SA index was up 2.7%, which was the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2009.Click on graph for larger image.
“March tonnage, and the first quarter overall, was reflective of an economy that is growing, but growing moderately,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “The pace of freight definitely slowed from the torrid pace in late 2011.”
“Most economic indicators still look good, which will continue to support tonnage going forward,” he said. Costello also noted that the industry should not expect the rate of growth seen over the last couple of years, when tonnage grew 5.8% in both 2010 and 2011. “Expect tonnage overall this year to be up at a more moderate rate, perhaps less than 3%, which is more in-line with normal growth.”
Here is a long term graph that shows ATA's For-Hire Truck Tonnage index.
The dashed line is the current level of the index. The index is above the pre-recession level and up 2.7% year-over-year. More sluggish growth.
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.
Posted by Bill McBride on 4/25/2012 09:33:00 AM