Friday, December 19, 2014

ATA Trucking Index increased 3.5% in November

by Bill McBride on 12/19/2014 07:01:00 PM

Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 3.5% in November

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 3.5% in November, following an increase of 0.5% during the previous month. In November, the index equaled 136.8 (2000=100), which was the highest level on record.

Compared with November 2013, the SA index increased 4.4%, down slightly from October’s 4.5% increase but still was the second highest year-over-year gain in 2014. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.3%. ...

“With strong readings for both retail sales and factory output in November, I’m not surprised that tonnage increased as well,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, the strength in tonnage did surprise to the upside.”

“The index has increased in four of the last five months for a total gain of 6.4%,” Costello said. “Clearly, the economy is doing well with tonnage on such a robust trend-line.”

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 4.4% year-over-year.