The American Trucking Association’s advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined slightly in February following a solid increase the month before.
In February, the Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.1% to a reading of 138.7, down from 138.9 in January. It was also down compared to last February when the Truck Tonnage Index hit its all-time high of 142.7, a decrease of 2.8%.
“February’s numbers, especially the year-over-year drop, might surprise some as several other economic indicators were positive in February,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “However, I’m not worried about the decline from February last year as it was really due to very difficult comparisons more than anything else: February 2016 was abnormally strong."
Without seasonal adjustment, the February Truck Tonnage Index equaled 125.5, which was down 4.6% from January’s 131.7. January’s reading saw both monthly and yearly increases by comparison.
“Looking ahead, signs remain mostly positive for truck tonnage, including lower inventory levels, better manufacturing activity, solid housing starts, good consumer spending, as well as an increase in the oil rig count – all of which are drivers of freight volumes,” said Costello.