More signs of a slowing economy from the ATA today as truck tonnage slows, but still remains in growth territory. The latest reading on tonnage showed a year over year increase of 3.2%, down from last year’s level of 3.7%. Bob Costello of the ATA says this is consistent with a slowing economy. The ATA has the details on the latest reading:
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.2% in June after falling 1.0% in May. (May’s loss was larger than the 0.7% drop ATA reported on June 19.) June’s increase was the largest month-to-month gain in 2012. However, the index contracted a total of 2.1% in April and May. The latest gain increased the SA index to 119.0 (2000=100), up from May’s level of 117.5. Compared with June 2011, the SA index was 3.2% higher, the smallest year-over-year increase since March 2012. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage was up 3.7%.
…June’s increase was a pleasant surprise, but the lower year-over-year gain fits with an economy that has slowed,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Manufacturing output was strong in June, which helped tonnage levels.”
Costello said he’s still concerned about businesses sitting on cash instead of hiring more workers or spending it on capital, both of which would give the economy and tonnage a shot in the arm, as they are worried about Europe and the U.S. fiscal cliff at the end of the year. Costello lowered his tonnage outlook for 2012 to the 3% to 3.5% range due to recent economic weakness.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.