ATA: Tonnage index recovers in November

Tonnage was up in November for the first time since July, according to the American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The index rose 3.7% in November from October. The October index had fallen by 3.7% from September. Compared to November 2011, the adjusted ATA index is up 2.8%. For the year, the index is up 1% over the same period last year. The non-seasonally adjusted number is actually 6.5 percent below October’s reading.
“Sandy impacted both October’s and November’s tonnage readings,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “But it was still good to see tonnage snap back in November.” Costello predicted that positive numbers stemming from the Sandy rebuilding efforts would drive flatbed tonnage higher, especially in the spring due both to the availability of funds and better climate for construction.
Tonnage may slow down due to slower factory output and dampened consumer spending if “fiscal cliff” negotiations don’t succeed before 2013. That could offset improving housing starts numbers and improving auto sales, he says.

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