Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index declined 0.8% in June 2014 after rising a downwardly revised 0.9% growth in May. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
June was one of those months where the data doesn’t quite match up with the anecdotal reports from fleets. We had heard the freight volumes were good. Tonnage had increased for four consecutive months prior to June totaling 4.4%. Despite the small reprieve in June, the second quarter was much better than the first quarter. Tonnage increased 2.3% from the first quarter, which was the largest quarter to quarter gain since the first quarter in 2013. Compared with the second quarter in 2013, tonnage increased 3.2%, a percentage point better than the first quarter year-over-year increase.
Compared with June 2013, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 2.3%.
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.