In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ATA Trucking Index Up Sharply in September, Up 8.4% Year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 10/25/2013 12:45:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator that I follow, from ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 1.4% in September

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.4% in September, which matched the August gain. (August’s increase was unchanged from what ATA reported on September 24, 2013.) In September, the SA index equaled 128.7 (2000=100) versus 126.9 in August. Compared with September 2012, the SA index surged 8.4%, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index is up 5.4%.
“I continue to be pleasantly surprised on the strength of truck tonnage,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “I attribute a part of tonnage’s robustness to the sectors of the economy that are growing fastest, like housing construction, auto production, and energy output. These industries produce heavier than average freight, which leads to faster growth in tonnage versus a load or shipment measure.

While tonnage is likely running ahead of overall economic growth, perhaps the economy is stronger than many believe. The index has now increased in four of the last five months and the year-over-year growth rate has accelerated. Plus, other measures of truck freight volumes, while increasing at a slower pace than tonnage, have also accelerated in recent months,” he said. “However, the government shutdown served as a headwind in the fourth quarter.”
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 at a new high and  up solidly year-over-year.   This is another minor indicator that suggests the economy is picking up (however this was prior to the government shutdown).