ATA Truck Tonnage Index falls 2.5 percent in February

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The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.5 percent in February, marking its first monthly decline since August 2005. The latest dip put the seasonally adjusted index at 115.1, the lowest level since September 2005.

The index had increased five consecutive months totaling 3.3 percent before the February contraction; compared with February 2005, the index was 0.2 percent lower. The not-seasonally adjusted index dropped 4.5 percent from January to 104.1. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says the latest decrease was the largest month-to-month decline in a year: The index dropped 5.4 percent from January 2005 to February 2005.

“The string of consecutive monthly increases was bound to come to an end at some point,” Costello says. “Motor carriers have been telling us that volumes have been fair recently, and our index clearly reflects that sentiment. We continue to believe that motor carriers should expect modest growth in volumes going forward and that the latest decrease should not alarm the industry.”

ATA calculates the index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. The baseline year for the index is 2000.