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What freight recession? US truck tonnage spikes in December

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Truck tonnage in the US surged a whopping 4.1% in December, following a modest rise of 0.9% in No...


ARLINGTON, Va. — Truck tonnage in the US surged a whopping 4.1% in December, following a modest rise of 0.9% in November.

The December spike was the largest month-to-month gain since December, 2006. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, it’s the highest truck tonnage rate since January, 2006, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported.

Tonnage was up 1.4% compared to a year earlier, which marks the first sequential year-over-year increases since May and June, 2006, the ATA reported. However, despite the recent increases, ATA reported the truck tonnage index declined 1.4% in 2007 following a 1.7% drop in 2006.

ATA chief economist, Bob Costello, admitted he was surprised by the strong showing in December.

“Both the month-to-month and year-over-year increases were very encouraging,” Costello said. “However, the supply chain has changed during the fall freight season, leading to better Novembers and Decembers than in the past, so we shouldn’t read too much into the recent data at this point.”

Costello said there’s still a 40% chance of a recession in the US and he added freight volumes will remain volatile and lackluster in the first half of 2008 in the US.


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