ARLINGTON, Va. — US for-hire truck tonnage increased 0.9% in March, posting its fourth increase in the past five months.
February’s tonnage was revised down to a loss of 0.7%, from an initially reported gain of 0.6%.
Since November 2012, US truck tonnage is up 7.6%. Compared to March 2012, the seasonally-adjusted index was up 3.8%.
Year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2012, tonnage is up 3.9%, the American Trucking Associations reports.
“Fitting with the expectation for solid gross domestic product growth in the first quarter, tonnage was strong in March and the quarter overall,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “At 3.9% year-over-year growth, the first quarter increase was the best since the final quarter 2011. Expect freight tonnage will slow in the months ahead as the federal government sequester continues and households finish spending their tax returns.
“The good news for tonnage is housing starts are growing and energy production is good – both of which generates heavy freight. However, these two sectors alone won’t be enough to keep the overall index growing at a 3.9% clip in the second quarter.”
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