Truck freight increased in March, but at a slower pace, as the American Trucking Associations For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.2 percent from February.
The gradually slowing growth rate for for-hire truck tonnage coincides with other indicators of a decelerating economy, including slower growth in jobs in March.
The seasonally adjusted tonnage index rose 2.7 percent year-over-year in March, the smallest annualized increase for the ATA index since December 2009.
“March tonnage, and the first quarter overall, was reflective of an economy that is growing, but growing moderately,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said Tuesday.
“The pace of freight definitely slowed from the torrid pace in late 2011,” Costello said in a statement. He expects more moderate tonnage growth in 2012.
Truck tonnage increased 5.8 percent in 2011 and 2010. For 2012, Costello said an increase of less than 3 percent is likely and “more in-line with normal growth.”