Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index rose 1.0% in May 2014 after rising a downwardly revised 0.9% in April. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
While the year-to-date improvement is running behind last year’s robust 6.3% increase, gains this year are more broad-based. It isn’t just heavy freight for sectors like tank truck and flatbed from energy and housing that are improving this year. Now, generic dry van trailer freight is doing better as well, which wasn’t the case in 2013. This is a good sign for the economy.
Compared with May 2013, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 3.4%.
Econintersect tries to validate data across data sources. It appears this month that jobs growth says the trucking industry increased 0.0% 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.