ATA Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.8% in November

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The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.8 percent in November, following a 0.2 percent contraction in October. The non-seasonally adjusted index decreased 8.5 percent from October to 111.8.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index improved to 112.0 in November from 111.1 the previous month. The index grew 3.3 percent compared with a year earlier, marking the second year-over-year increase in eight months and the largest gain since January 2005. Year-to-date, the tonnage index was 1.7 percent lower than during the same period in 2006.

ATA Economist Tavio Headley said the November tonnage reading suggests continued volatility and softness in freight volumes, despite the month-to-month and year-over-year gains. Headley noted that since March, every monthly increase in the seasonally adjusted tonnage index was followed by a contraction the next month.

The slowdown in tonnage volumes is projected to continue into 2008. “Based on the latest economic data and the expected slowdown in the economy over the next few quarters, we anticipate lackluster freight volumes at least through the first half of 2008,” Headley said.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators. The baseline year is 2000.