Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ATA Trucking Index declines in October, Up 8% Year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 11/19/2013 12:37:00 PM

Here is a minor indicator that I follow, from ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 2.8% in October

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 2.8% in October, the first decrease since July. ... In October, the index equaled 124 (2000=100) versus 127.5 in September. October’s level was the lowest since April. Compared with October 2012, the SA index surged 8%, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011.
...
“From May through September, the index surged 3.5%, including only one monthly decrease over that period,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It isn’t surprising for volumes to fall back some after such a good run.”

Despite October’s month-to-month decrease, we saw a very robust year-over-year increase and I’m seeing some good signs out of the trucking industry that suggests the economy may be a little stronger than we think,” he said. “Specifically, the heavy freight sectors, like tank truck, have been helping tonnage this year. But in the third quarter, generic dry van truckload freight saw the best quarterly gains since 2010. I view this positively for the economy. I view it positively for trucking. Now, we have to see if it continues.”
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 up solidly year-over-year. This monthly decline might have been related to the government shutdown.