ATA adjusted freight index rises in October

The American Trucking Associations Nov. 22 announced its advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5 percent in October after 1.5 percent in September.

The nonseasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, in October was 0.8 percent below the previous month.

Compared with October 2010, adjusted tonnage was up 5.7 percent. In September, the tonnage index was 5.8 percent above a year earlier. Further, October’s tonnage reading was just 4.4 percent below the index’s all-time high in January 2005.

“Tonnage readings continue to show that economy is growing and not sliding back into recession,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Over the last two months, tonnage is up nearly 2 percent and is just shy of the recent high in January of this year.”

Costello said he expects freight and the economy to increase at a slower pace next year, but that truck tonnage can outpace GDP growth. “Manufacturing output has been the primary reason why truck freight volumes are increasing more than GDP,” he said. “The industrial sector should slow next year, but still grow more than GDP, which means truck tonnage can increase faster than GDP too.”

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