Truck tonnage drop indicates economic slowdown, says ATA

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The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Truck Tonnage Index fell 3.6% in November after dropping 1.9% in October. The index decreased 8.8% compared with a year earlier, marking the largest year-over-year tonnage decrease since December 2000 and "the single worst month for for-hire truck tonnage since the last recession," according to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

"Both the month-to-month and year-over-year decreases indicate that the economic slowdown is in full gear," he says.

"The most troubling number is the 8.8% contraction from November 2005, despite the fact that year-over-year comparisons are difficult due to the very robust volumes during the same month last year.

"One month certainly doesn’t make a trend, but if we continue to see year-over-year reductions of similar magnitudes in the next couple of months, it could indicate a greater economic slowdown than economists are projecting at this point."

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