More good news from the transport sector. Based on recent data from the rail and now the trucking industries, the US economy is not sliding into recession. The American Trucking Association says tonnage continued to expand in October:
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in October after rising a revised 1.5% in September 2011. September’s increase was slightly less than the 1.6% gain ATA reported on October 25, 2011. The latest gain put the SA index at 116.3 (2000=100) in October, up from the September level of 115.8.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 118.5 in October, which was 0.8% below the previous month.
Compared with October 2010, SA tonnage was up 5.7%. In September, the tonnage index was 5.8% above a year earlier. Further, October’s tonnage reading was just 4.4% below the index’s all-time high in January 2005.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says the economy is clearly not sliding into recession:
“Tonnage readings continue to show that economy is growing and not sliding back into recession. Over the last two months, tonnage is up nearly 2% and is just shy of the recent high in January of this year. Manufacturing output has been the primary reason why truck freight volumes are increasing more than GDP. The industrial sector should slow next year, but still grow more than GDP, which means truck tonnage can increase faster than GDP too.”