Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index increased 0.5% in October 2011 after increasing a revised 1.5% in September 2011. Compared with October 2010, SA tonnage was up a solid 5.7%. In September, the tonnage index was 5.8% above a year earlier.
This trucking index is 4.4% below the all time high of January 2005.
“Tonnage readings continue to show that economy is growing and not sliding back into recession,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Over the last two months, tonnage is up nearly 2% and is just shy of the recent high in January of this year.”
Costello added that he expects freight and the economy to increase at a slower pace next year, but that truck tonnage can outpace GDP growth.
“Manufacturing output has been the primary reason why truck freight volumes are increasing more than GDP. The industrial sector should slow next year, but still grow more than GDP, which means truck tonnage can increase faster than GDP too,” he said.
Econintersect’s analysis shows trucking has been in a tight range all of 2011 – and now has returned to the top of the range.