The American Trucking Association’s truck tonnage index climbed 2.1% in December and continues to show modest signs of economic improvement. The latest reading of 108.4 is the highest since November 2008.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, tempered expectations for the coming months as he expects things to slow a bit:
“The robust tonnage numbers in November and December were aided by better economic growth as well as a positive inventory effect. However, economic activity is expected to moderate in the current quarter, which will keep a lid on tonnage growth. While the index was moving toward positive year-over-year readings in recent months, December’s gain was due, in part, to a 7.8 percent plunge a year earlier. There is no doubt that the industry is moving the right direction, but the level of freight will not be as strong as the year-over-year increases suggest because of how terrible it was in late 2008 and much of 2009.”