The latest data from the American Trucking Association showed a decline in May of -2.3%. The year over year rate was still positive at 2.7%, but is well off the high of 4.8% reported earlier in the year. Bob Costello, the ATA’s Chief Economist says he is not concerned about renewed recession:
“Truck tonnage over the last four months shows that the economy definitely hit a soft patch this spring,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “With our index falling in three of the last four months totaling 3.7%, it is clear why there is some renewed anxiety over the economic recovery.”
However, Costello added that he is cautiously optimistic that freight volumes will improve in the second half of the year along with economic activity.
“With oil prices falling and some of the Japan-related auto supply problems ending, I believe this was a soft patch and not a slide back into recession, and we should see better, but not great, economic activity in the months ahead,” he said.