March 28th, 2012
Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index rose 0.5% month-over-month in February 2012 following a revised decline of 4.6% in January and a rise of 6.8% in December 2011. Compared with February 2011, seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 3.6%.
For calendar year 2011, truck tonnage was up 5.5% (revised down from last months preliminary figure). From the press release:
“Fleets told us that February was decent and that played out in the numbers,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Costello noted that February’s month-to-month increase was sixth in the last seven months.
“I’m still expecting continued truck tonnage growth going forward. Rising manufacturing activity and temperate consumer spending should be helped a little from an improving housing market,” he said.
Econintersect analysis shows trucking tonnage was 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.
Econintersect tries to validate data across data sources. The increases in tonnage seem to correlate with truck transport employment since 2010.