Trucking index climbs
The American Trucking Associations said its advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index climbed 3 percent in January, marking only the second month-to-month increase in the last seven months.
The group said, however, that the gain did little to erase the revised 7.8 percent contraction in December 2008. In January, the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled just 104.7 (2000 = 100), its second-lowest level since October 2002. In January, the not seasonally adjusted index fell 4.4 percent from the previous month to 97.2.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said there was no reason to get excited about January’s 3 percent month-to-month improvement. “Tonnage will not fall every month, and just because it rises every now and then doesn’t mean the economy is on the mend,” Costello said. “Furthermore, tonnage is contracting significantly on a year-over-year basis, which is highlighting the current weakness in the freight environment.” Costello said any sustained recovery in tonnage is still months away.