February 29th, 2012
Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index fell 4% month-over-month in January 2012 following a rise of 6.8% in December 2011. Compared with January 2011, seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 3.6%.
For calendar year 2011, truck tonnage was up 5.8% (revised down from last months preliminary figure).
“Last month I said I was surprised by the size of the gain in December. Today, I’m not surprised that tonnage fell on a seasonally adjusted basis in January simply due to the fact that December was so strong,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Costello noted that December’s increase was the largest month-to-month gain since January 2005.
“I’m still optimistic about truck tonnage going forward. In fact, while many fleets said January was normal, they are also saying that February has been pretty good so far,” he said.
Econintersect's analysis shows trucking were in a tight range all of 2011 - but the December tonnage increase put the index at highs not seen before, and remains the largest year-over-year gain since July 1998. Hat tip to Calculated Risk for the graphic below - the graphic from the ATA has been wrong for two months in a row.