Thursday, July 29, 2010

ATA Truck Tonnage Index declines in June

by Calculated Risk on 7/29/2010 07:56:00 PM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 1.4 Percent in June

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.4 percent in June, although May’s reduction was revised from 0.6 percent to just 0.1 percent. May and June marked the first back-to-back contractions since March and April 2009. The latest reduction lowered the SA index from 110.1 (2000=100) in May to 108.5 in June.
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Compared with June 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.6 percent, which was just below May’s 7.7 percent increase and the seventh consecutive year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.6 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that the two sequential decreases reflect an economy that is slowing. Furthermore, growth in truck tonnage is likely to moderate in the months ahead as the economy decelerates and year-over-year comparisons become more difficult. Nevertheless, Costello believes that tonnage doesn’t have to grow very quickly at this point since industry capacity has declined so much. “Due to supply tightness in the market, any tonnage growth feels significantly better for fleets than one might expect.”
Truck Tonnage Index

This graph from the ATA shows the Truck Tonnage Index since Jan 2006 (no larger image).

This index is at about the same level as in December 2009.

Rail traffic also weakened in June.