Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index rose 1.1% following an upwardly revised decline of 1.4% in April.
From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:
The good news is that truck tonnage increased in May. But tonnage is certainly not strong at the moment as factory output is soft and there is an inventory reduction occurring throughout the supply chain. I believe the inventory correction should end this summer and truck freight, helped by better personal consumption, will accelerate, which is good because I think it is unlikely factory output will boost truck tonnage much until later this year or next year.
Compared with one year ago, seasonally adjusted tonnage increased 1.8%.
Econintersect tries to validate data across data sources. It appears this month that jobs growth says the trucking industry increased 0.6% 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.
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