Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ATA Trucking Index increases in September

by Bill McBride on 10/23/2012 01:58:00 PM

Note: ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says, for trucking, the pickup in housing is offsetting the "flattening in manufacturing output".

From ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.4% in September

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.4% in September after falling 0.9% in August. In September, the SA index equaled 118.7 (2000=100). The level in September was the same as in January 2012, so the index has been on a flat trend-line over the past 9 months. Compared with September 2011, the SA index was 2.4% higher, the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2009.
...
“The year-over-year deceleration in tonnage continued during September, although I was encouraged that the seasonally adjusted index edged higher from August,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Costello noted again this month that the acceleration in housing starts, which is helping truck tonnage, is being countered by a flattening in manufacturing output and elevated inventories throughout the supply chain."
emphasis added
Note from ATA:
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 67% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.2 billion tons of freight in 2011. Motor carriers collected $603.9 billion, or 80.9% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA Trucking Click on graph for larger image.

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 2.4% year-over-year - but has been mostly moving sideways in 2012.

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