Truck tonnage fell for the fourth month in a row this past October for a total decrease of 6.3% since July, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The October drop (3%) indicates "how bad the U.S. economy is currently," says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
"October should be the busiest month of the year, but instead this October was a fizzle. The latest truck tonnage drop suggests that retailers are very pessimistic for the holiday sales season.
"The cumulative drop in truck tonnage over the last four months suggests that the economy is likely to contract substantially in the fourth quarter, at least 3%."
He notes there has been a "leveling off" of freight hauled during the fall season in recent years.