Truck tonnage flattened in February

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Truck tonnage was flat in February, but the American Trucking Associations (ATA) isn't too worried. In fact, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says February’s reading was "encouraging."

“The fact that truck tonnage did not lose any of January’s robust gain is quite positive,” he reports.

Costello continues to forecast a mild recession for the overall economy during the first half of 2008.

He notes, however, that truck tonnage typically leads general economic activity.

Truck tonnage rebounded in 2001, for example, just as the aggregate economy was slipping into a recession, explain ATA officials.

“Perhaps we are seeing a repeat of the last recovery,” says Costello. “But it is still too early to make that call, especially with energy prices at historic levels.

"There are just too many downside risks at the moment to say definitively that trucking is leading an economic recovery.”

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