ARLINGTON, VA – After the 1.1 percent increase in June, the American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index held steady in July with no change.
Compared with July 2011, the SA index was 4.1 percent higher, the largest year-over-year gain since February of this year. Year-to-date, tonnage increased 3.7 percent.
The not seasonally adjusted index was 2.8 percent below June, ATA said.
The economy has lost steam, but hasn’t stalled, said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello on July’s reading. “Certainly there has been some better economic news recently, but I continue to believe we will see some deceleration in tonnage during the second half of the year, if for nothing else but very tough comparisons on a robust August through December period in 2011.”
Costello reiterated his belief that the slowdown in new factory orders will constrain manufacturing output, impacting truck freight volumes.
Costello also noted his concern about the recent jump in the total business (manufacturing, wholesale, and retail) inventory-to-sales ratio. “Unintended gains in inventories will hit trucking negatively as the supply chain works off stocks.”
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