• Trucking Group Says Latest Industry Data Shows Recession Unlikely

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    The latest gauge of trucking activity shows that it is unlikely the United
    States economy is slipping into recession, according to an economist with the
    nation's largest national trade association for the trucking industry.

    Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations group,
    said that while the ATA's advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck
    Tonnage Index declined 3.2% in August, overall trucking activity continues to
    increase compared to last year.

    In July, the seasonally adjusted index jumped 6.2%, the ATA said.

    The August SA index increased 4.1% compared to the same month last year. The
    index is up 4.3% year-to-date compared with the same period last year,
    according to the ATA.

    "The large swings continued in August, but the good news is the trend line is
    still up," said Costello. "While there is concern over economic growth, truck
    tonnage shows that it is unlikely that the economy is slipping into a
    recession. It is important to note that ATA's tonnage data is dominated by
    contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in
    spot market freight this year."

    The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage
    actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 125.1 in
    August, 2.2% above the July level (122.3). In calculating the index, 100
    represents 2015 levels of activity.

    The ATA says trucking represents 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of
    domestic freight transportation, making it a barometer of the U.S. economy.

    The ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership.

    The ATA is a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and
    industry-related conferences and councils. It says it is the largest national
    trade association for the trucking industry.

    --Steve Cronin, scronin@opisnet.com



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