Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index increased in October following a revised decline of 0.8% (originally reported as unchanged) increased in September 2014. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
Tonnage made a nice comeback after declining in September. The gain fits with the increases in retail sales and factory output during October, as well as with good anecdotal reports about the fall freight season. The solid month-to-month gain, coupled with the acceleration in the year-over-year growth rate, is a good sign for the fourth quarter. In addition, I’m expecting a solid fall freight season as holiday sales are forecasted to see the largest increase since 2011.
Compared with one year ago, 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.