American Trucking Associations’ latest report on all freight transported by trucking in August showed another decline, but at this point the organization believes it’s unlikely that the economy is slipping into a recession.
The ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined by 3.2% in August, following a 6.2% increase in the month before. In August, the index equaled 118.3, compared to a reading of 122.2 in July.
Despite volatility in the ATA’s last few monthly truck tonnage reports, the overall trend line is still moving upward.
“While there is concern over economic growth, truck tonnage shows that it is unlikely that the economy is slipping into a recession,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.”
Compared to August 2018, the seasonally adjusted index increased by 4.1% and year-to-date, the truck tonnage index is up 4.2% year-to-date compared with the same period in 2018.
Without seasonal adjustment, representing the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets in August, the index equaled 125.1, 2.2% above July’s non-seasonally adjusted reading.
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