US Truck Tonnage Continues Decline

The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 3.0% in October.

The decline marks the fourth consecutive month-to-month drop. The index fell 0.8% in September and 1.9% in August.

In October, the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 108.9 (2000 = 100), its lowest level since October 2003. Unadjusted, the index increased 3.4% to 119.9 in October.

Truck tonnage is down a total of 6.3% of the last four months, said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, highlighting how bad the US economy is currently.

“October should be the busiest month of the year, but instead this October was a fizzle,” said Costello. October is typically busy as retailers begin to take delivery of products for the holiday season. “The latest truck tonnage drop suggests that retailers are very pessimistic for the holiday sales season,” Costello added.

“The cumulative drop in truck tonnage over the last four months suggests that the economy is likely to contract substantially in the fourth quarter, at least 3%,” commented Costello.

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