Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index improved 1.6% in August 2014 following a 1.5% increased in July 2014. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
After a strong July, factory production and housing starts fell in August on a month-to-month basis. Truck tonnage actually did the opposite. Not only did it increase, it accelerated. The tonnage is up 3.1% over the last two months alone and has surged 6.8% since hitting a recent low in January. I’m optimistic about the second half of the year for the economy, which means truck tonnage should do well too.
Compared with August 2013, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 4.5%.
Econintersect tries to validate data across data sources. It appears this month that jobs growth says the trucking industry increased 0.2% month-over-month (red line). Please note using BLS employment data in real time is risky, as their data is normally backward adjusted significantly.
This data series is not transparent and therefore cannot be relied on. Please note that the ATA does not release an unadjusted data series (although they report the unadjusted value each month - but do not report revisions to this data) where Econintersect can make an independent evaluation. The data is apparently subject to significant backward revision. Not all trucking companies are members of the ATA, and therefore it is unknown if this data is a representative sampling of the trucking industry.