The back-to-back increases in November and December were the best gains in 2012. Consequently, the seasonally adjusted index was 121.6 in December, versus 118.3 in November.
Despite the monthly increase, compared with December 2011, the seasonally adjusted index was off 2.3 percent, the worst year-over-year results since November 2009. In December 2011, the index surged 6.4 percent from the previous month.
For the full year of 2012, tonnage was up 2.3 percent. In 2011, the index increased 5.8 percent.
Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, predicts more sluggishness in the index in 2013, especially early in the year, as the economy continues to face several headwinds.