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ATA Truck Tonnage Index posts 1% gain in December

ARLINGTON, Va. – American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index went up by 1% in December after a decrease of 0.9% in November.

The index equaled 135.6 (2000=100), up from 134.3 in the previous month.

Year-over-year, the index went up by 1.1%, better than November’s 0.2% gain from November 2014. Tonnage was up 2.6% for all of 2015 when compared to 2014.

“Tonnage ended 2015 on a strong note, but it was not strong for the year as a whole,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “With year-over-year gains averaging just 1.2% over the last four months, there was a clear deceleration in truck tonnage.

“At the expense of sounding like a broken record, I remain concerned about the high level of inventories throughout the supply chain. The total business inventory-to-sales record is at the highest level in over a decade, excluding the Great Recession period. This will have a negative impact on truck freight volumes over the next few months at least. And, this inventory cycle is overriding any strength from consumer spending and housing at the moment.”

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