Truck Tonnage Jumps in U.S., but Don’t Get Too Excited Yet

Economist view trucking activity as a reliable barometer of economic activity. So, it was welcome news last week when data from the American Trucking Associations showed a sharp increase in U.S. truck tonnage last month.

Specifically, American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 7.2% in February, following a revised 0.3% reduction during January.

This was a big jump, and an indication that the amount of goods being shipping on America’s highways was up markedly last month, following a slump.

ATA said that, compared with February 2015, the SA index was up 8.6%. Tonnage was up 4.8% year-to-date.

However, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello warns us all to keep our enthusiasm in check, “I’m still concerned about the elevated inventories throughout the supply chain. Last week, the Census Bureau reported that relative to sales, inventories rose again in January, which is troubling,” he said.

He added that the February gain only looks impressive against the weaker-than-average January reading. The upcoming numbers for March should provide a much more accurate reading of where things are heading.

Copyright Today’s Credit Unions