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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ATA Truck Tonnage Index increased in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/23/2011 06:22:00 PM

From the American Trucking Association: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 3.8 Percent in January

The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 3.8 percent in January after rising a revised 2.5 percent in December 2010. The latest jump put the SA index at 117.1 (2000=100) in January, which was the highest level since January 2008. In December, the SA index equaled 112.7.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that he was very pleased with January’s robust gain, especially considering the winter storms during the month. “Many fleets told us that freight was solid in January, although operations were as challenge due to the winter storms that hit large parts of the country.” Costello also stated that the latest tonnage numbers indicate that the economy is growing at a good clip early in 2011 and he expects a solid first half of the year. “At this point, the biggest threat is the recent run-up in oil prices, which could dampen consumer spending.”
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Click on map for graph gallery.

This graph from the ATA shows the Truck Tonnage Index since Jan 2007.

This is the highest level since January 2008 - and truck tonnage is increasing again after stalling out last spring and summer. I agree with Costello that the biggest short term threat to the economy is high oil prices.

Earlier posts on existing home sales and home prices:
January Existing Home Sales: 5.36 million SAAR, 7.6 months of supply
Existing Home Inventory increases 3.1% Year over Year
Real House Prices fall to 2000 Levels, Update on NAR Overstating Sales
Case-Shiller: National Home Prices Are Close to the 2009Q1 Trough
House Prices: Price-to-rent, Price-to-median Household Income