by Bill McBride on 2/22/2013 04:05:00 PM
Friday, February 22, 2013
This is a minor indicator that I follow. This index has been very strong following the dip in October due to Hurricane Sandy.
From ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Posts Best Ever January
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.9% in January after jumping 2.4% in December. ... Tonnage has surged at least 2.4% every month since November, gaining a total of 9.1% over that period. As a result, the SA index equaled 125.2 (2000=100) in January versus 121.7 in December. January’s index was the highest on record. Compared with January 2012, the SA index was up a robust 6.5%, the best year-over-year result since December 2011.Note from ATA:
“The trucking industry started 2013 with a bang, reflected in the best January tonnage report in five years,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “While I believe that the overall economy will be sluggish in the first quarter, trucking likely benefited in January from an inventory destocking that transpired late last year, thus boosting volumes more than normal early this year as businesses replenish those lean inventories.”
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.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 fairly noisy, but is up solid year-over-year.
Posted by Bill McBride on 2/22/2013 04:05:00 PM