Truck tonnage index up 1.8 percent

Truck tonnage index up 1.8 percent

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

The American Trucking Associations'' seasonally adjusted Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.8 percent to 154.9 (1993=100) in February, second-highest level ever in the history of the closely followed index.

The increase followed a decrease of 2.3 percent in January. The February reading was the second highest level ever, below only the 155.8 registered last December.

From January to February, the unadjusted index fell 1.5 percent. Compared with February 2003, the unadjusted index surged 7.3 percent, the same strong gain registered in December 2003.

"The recovery in truck tonnage remained on course during February", said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "This was the fifth increase in the last six months for the adjusted index."

Costello said he believed that the strength in the manufacturing sector as well as retail sales were the primary reasons why tonnage grew robustly in February, both on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis.