Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wednesday: Q1 GDP (3rd estimate), MBA Mortgage Purchase Index

by Calculated Risk on 6/25/2013 10:13:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator that I follow that is at a new record high, from ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 2.3% in May

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 2.3% in May after falling 0.2% in April. ... In May, the SA index equaled 126.0 (2000=100) versus 123.2 in April. May 2013 is the highest level on record, surpassing the previous high in December 2011(124.3). Compared with May 2012, the SA index surged 6.7%, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011.

“After bouncing around in a fairly tight band during the previous three months, tonnage skyrocketed in May,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Some of the increase is attributable to factory output rising in May for the first time since February (+0.2%) and retail sales performing stronger than expected in May (+0.6%). Costello added, “The 6.8% surge in new housing starts during May obviously pushed tonnage up as home construction generates a significant amount of truck tonnage.”
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 fairly noisy, but the index is at a record high and is up solidly year-over-year.

Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index. Expect a spike in mortgage rates, and a decline in refinance activity.

• At 8:30 AM, the third estimate of Q1 GDP will be released by the BEA. The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.4% annualized in Q1, unrevised from the 2nd estimate.