ATA: Truck tonnage index rebounds in November

Domestic truck tonnage rebounded in November 2016, jumping 8.2 percent compared with the previous month, following a revised decrease of 0.3 percent in October, according to the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. The seasonally adjusted index equaled 142.4 for the month, up 5.7 percent compared with November 2015, after slipping 0.9 percent year-over-year in October and 1.3 percent in September. ATA noted the all-time high index reading was 144 in February 2016.
Through the first 11 months of the year, tonnage has increased 2.8 percent compared with the same 2015 period.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage hauled by fleets prior to any seasonal adjustment, equaled 135.9 in November, down 1.7 percent from 138.2 the previous month.
“2016 has been an interesting year for truck tonnage, with monthly gains and decreases as large as I can remember, which suggests seasonality is different this year,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement. “November’s substantial increase continued with the seesaw pattern that has persisted for much of the year.
“While I think the November gain overstates the strength in the freight market, I do believe we are seeing some improvement that will continue into 2017,” he added. “Retail sales are good, the housing market is solid, and the inventory overhang throughout the supply chain is coming down, all of which will help support truck freight volumes in 2017″.

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