The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.6 percent to 123.6 in February, after increasing 1 percent in January to 123.
February was the fourth month in a row showing an increase in tonnage. Over the last four months, tonnage cumulatively increased 7.7 percent.
Compared with February 2012, the seasonally adjusted index was up 4.2 percent, just below January’s 4.6 percent year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2012, the tonnage index is up 4.4 percent.
“Fitting with several other key economic indicators, truck tonnage is up earlier than we anticipated this year,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, in a written statement. “While I think this is a good sign for the industry and the economy, I’m still concerned that freight tonnage will slow in the months ahead as the federal government sequester continues and households finish spending their tax returns. A little longer term, I think the economy and the industry are poised for a more robust recovery.”