Truck Tonnage Index increases in April

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.0 percent in April, following a revised 2.9 percent drop in March.

ATA said the latest increase was the first since January and the strongest month-to-month gain since January 2005. The latest increase put the seasonally adjusted index at 112.6. Compared with April 2006, the index was 1.9 percent lower. The not-seasonally adjusted index dropped 9.5 percent from March to 107.8.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy because it represents nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9.8 billion tons of freight in 2004. Motor carriers collected $671 billion dollars, or just under 88 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes, ATA said.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership, and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the tenth day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

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