The ATA’s Truck Tonnage Index fell 8.8%year over year, making it the largest such loss since December 2000. “November 2006 marked the single worst month in for-hire tonnage since the last recession,” notes the Association’s Chief Economist, Bob Costello. “Both the month-to-month and year-over-year decresases indicate that the economic slowdown is in full gear.”
The November decline followed a 1.9% decrease in October. ATA indicated that the not-seasonally-adjusted index fell from October to November by 9.5%, to 106.5. The index was 100 in 2000.
Costello is most concerned over the 8.8% fall from November 2005. “One month certainly doesn’t make a trend,” he claims, “but if we continue to see year-over-year reductions of similar magnitudes in the next couple of months, it could indicate a greater economic slowdown than economists are projecting at this point.”
Index is not yet final. ATA notes that tonnage figures to this point are to be regarded as preliminary and subject to change in a final report that should be issued within the next few weeks.