Truck tonnage indicator falls in July

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For the second consecutive month, a leading indicator of trucking activity has contracted. The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.6 percent in July from June to 114.3. The index is up 0.5 percent over July 2004, however. The index dropped 0.2 percent in June from May. For 2005 to date, the index is up 2.4 percent over the same 2004 period.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello blamed July’s tonnage drop on several factors, including a 0.1 percent drop in manufacturing durable goods shipments and relative weakness in manufacturing production, especially in higher-weight products like paper.

“Due to tough upcoming year-over-year comparisons from extremely strong growth in the second half of 2004, as well as modest growth in truck-tonnage weighted manufacturing production, I’m lowering our growth projection for 2005 to the 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent range,” Costello said.