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posted on 20 January 2015

Trucking Tonnage Index Unchanged in December 2014

Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index was unchanged following an increase of 3.5% in November. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:

Economic data was mixed in December, with retail sales down 0.9% and factory output up 0.3%, so tonnage was in-between those two readings, which are two large drivers of truck freight. Overall, 2014 was a good year for truck tonnage with significant gains throughout the year after falling 4.5% in January alone. In December, tonnage was 10.2% above January. Freight volumes look good going into 2015. Expect an acceleration in consumer spending and factory output to offset the weakness in hydraulic fracking this year.

z truck.jpg

Compared with one year ago, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 5.2%.

Econintersect tries to validate data across data sources. It appears this month that jobs growth says the trucking industry increased 0.5% 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.

Steven Hansen

source: ATA

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