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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ATA Truck Tonnage Index increases in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/24/2010 11:59:00 PM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 3.1 Percent in January

Truck Tonnage Click on graph for slightly larger image in new window.

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 3.1 percent in January, following a revised 1.3 percent increase in December 2009. The latest gain boosted the SA index from 107 (2000=100) in December to 110.4 in January, its highest level since September 2008.
For all of 2009, the tonnage index was down 8.7 percent (slightly larger than the previously reported 8.3 percent drop), which was the largest annual decrease since a 12.3 percent plunge in 1982.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that the latest tonnage reading, coupled with anecdotal reports from carriers, indicates that both the industry and the economy are clearly in a recovery mode. “While I don’t expect tonnage to continue growing as robustly as it did in January, the industry is finally moving in the right direction. Although there are still risks that could throw the rebound off track, the likelihood of that happening continues to diminish.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing nearly 69 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.
Trucking is a coincident indicator - and some of this increase is related to the inventory cycle - but this suggests growth in January.