Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ATA Trucking Index increased 0.5% in October

by Bill McBride on 11/18/2014 02:21:00 PM

Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.5% in October

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.5% in October, following a revised decline of 0.8% during the previous month. In October, the index equaled 132.1 (2000=100), which was the second highest level on record after August.

Compared with October 2013, the SA index increased 4.5%, up from September’s 2.9% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.2%. ...

“Tonnage made a nice comeback after declining in September,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The gain fits with the increases in retail sales and factory output during October, as well as with good anecdotal reports about the fall freight season.”

“The solid month-to-month gain, coupled with the acceleration in the year-over-year growth rate, is a good sign for the fourth quarter,” Costello said. “In addition, I’m expecting a solid fall freight season as holiday sales are forecasted to see the largest increase since 2011.”

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 69.1% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.7 billion tons of freight in 2013. Motor carriers collected $681.7 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
emphasis added
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 now up 4.5% year-over-year.