US Trucking Tonnage Index Increases

As the Journal of Commerce reports, the American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Trucking Tonnage Index jumped 2.3 percent to 126.0 in May.  This is  the highest level on record, surpassing the previous high in December 2011(124.3).

Compared with May 2012, the index increased 6.7 percent, which is the largest year-over-year gain since December 2011. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2012, the tonnage index rose 4.5 percent.

As  Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist said that “some of the increase was driven by increased factory output in May, as well as retail sales that performed stronger than expected for the month.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 67 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

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