Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index increased 3.5% in November following an increase of 0.5% for October. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
With strong readings for both retail sales and factory output in November, I’m not surprised that tonnage increased as well. However, the strength in tonnage did surprise to the upside. The index has increased in four of the last five months for a total gain of 6.4%. Clearly, the economy is doing well with tonnage on such a robust trend-line.
Compared with one year ago, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 4.4%.
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.